Thursday, July 30, 2009

Some Eye Candy....

These pictures were all taken last week before my emergency cleaning spree, but I didn't get a change to post them. Since I haven't done anything blog worthy all week, I thought they would make a good filler post until my life becomes interesting again!

This fall I will be making the boys matching bed quilts to go on their bunk beds. I need 21 different fabrics. Ben vetoed one of the fabrics in this stack (the yellow one under the red & white stars), and I've since purchased a few more. I'm almost ready to start cutting. There will be a little bit of extra fabric from each cut, so I think I'm going to make a Bento Box out of the scraps for a floor quilt or picnic quilt.

This is another set of strings for my CYOC swap. This was random purples around a white center.

I've also mentioned in the past that I'm involved with the Sunshine Charity Quilts (online group). For the month of June (I know, I'm late, don't judge me) Bonnie was collecting string blocks to donate to the Heartstrings Group (of which I am also a member). We're only requested to send in two blocks each month, but I was on a roll with my string piecing and I wanted to make a dent in my strings stash. The dent was negligible.....
We are actually able to breath today, even the though temps are still in the high 90's. I'm considering turning on my sewing machine tonight or maybe tomorrow. I sure hope I don't melt.

I'm here....

I'm here, I'm alive, but I'm melting! The house showing went off with out a hitch. But we won't be selling. I don't think we'll be able to come together on a price. They want to pay fair market value (and I can't blame them), but we aren't really prepared to move, or sell. So, in order to do so, we'd need a little more financial motivation. And they aren't willing to pay that. So, we're ok with it. This is where we are supposed to be. My friend, Sarah, just had a beautiful addition added to her house and she gave her contractor a glowing recommendation. It just so happens that she's not only a great bloggy friend, but a Real Life friend as well. And we live in the same small town. So, we're going to talk with her contractor and seeing about doing an addition here. Then our house will nearly be perfect. And we could live here indefinitely, you know. In case this market never really does turn around!

So, I got the house all tidied up and lookin' spiffy. But I haven't sat down with my machine yet. Good Lord, its been so HOT here! The thought of sitting in front of a machine, with a hot computer and hot light. Next to a hot iron. ...... ugh, I couldnt do it. I think the heat has peaked and so hopefully it'll only be a few more days before we're back to "normal" ~ whatever that is....

Thursday, July 23, 2009

We Interrupt This Regularly Scheduled Blog.....

You may remember last summer when we put our house on the market, because we were going to move into our "dream home" (HA!), but then it all fell apart and we stayed right where we are. Do you remember that? Probably not because I had like, maybe four, readers at that point. Anyhoo, it was a fun summer last year. Trust me. F - U - N (NOT). Well, last week we had someone randomly knock on our door and say "hi, we know your neighbors and we heard your house was on the market last year. We think we'd like to buy it." WHAT???? Seriously? I shouldn't be surprised, because this is exactly the type of crap that happens to Jason and me all. of. the. time. We aren't normal, we don't lead normal lives and normal stuff just doesn't happen. Ever.
We'd had our eye on a house in town and so we called the Realtor and went to look at it. We had every expectation of falling in love with this house, working out a deal with these random people and living happily ever after. Well, the house was awful. Just awful. Ok, maybe not that bad, but it wasn't the house for us. We called Mr. & Mrs. Random back and told them that we appreciate their interest in the house, but moving just isn't what's best for us right now. Then we went on with our lives. Three days ago we got a letter from them explaining that they've spent three days looking at houses with their realtor and they can't find anything. (really? nothing? In this market? Surely they aren't looking hard enough). They are in love with our hosue (they've only ever walked around the yard, they've never been inside) and they want to live our their retirement here. They understand our position but would like us to keep them in mind should we decide to move anytime soon. Crap!
See, we have outgrown our house. Two growing boys and two big dogs in a two bedroom house. We don't fit. We realize this and we also know that this is NOT where we want to live out our retirement. However, we had just resigned ourselves to staying here probably another five years or so. Until (fingers crossed) the market turns around a bit. Then we got to thinking....right now, in this market, someone wants to buy our house. They seem to be desperate to live here. We're nuts if we don't try to go for it., all of this to explain ~ I've been cleaning like a mad woman for the last several days. My sewing machine is accumulating dust and I'm not working on any of my WIPs. :( They are coming on Saturday to view the house and I've explained to Jason that I will be spending Sunday evening glued to my sewing machine. He seems ok with that ;)
See y'all in a few days!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Stringing Along.....

I've been busy getting caught up on my string blocks for the CYOC String Block Swap. I only have five more sets to make, so they should be done and out of the house this weekend. Freeing me up to get starting with my WIPing Through Summer Challenge!

OwenJulesMommy requested a bright pink center with BOW on one side and WOB on the other.

KC1930 reqested the same, but with a limey green center (she provided the center strip). For some reason these two blocks gave me fits....I don't know what it was, but I'm glad they are done : )

Knot Me requested a black center strip with WOW on one side and pinks on the other.

Lace Angel requested a white center strip with lemon yellows and strawberry pinks. I wasn't sure about the strawberry pinks, but I really like how these turned out!

Karol0405 requested a WOW center strip with mostly green prints and some florals thrown in. She wanted it to scream Spring. I hope I managed that!!

and finally, Bluesnail wanted a bright green center with bright florals. I wasn't sure about my fabric choices for this one at first, but I think it just might be my favorite set so far!

Friday, July 10, 2009

I'm in Love.....

I went to play with my dream machine yesterday at the local Juki dealer. I'm in love.....and my husband seems receptive ;-) Keep your fingers crossed for me!!

Monday, July 6, 2009

My First Quilt

Have you heard?? Camille and Carrie are hosting a Parade of Quilts. You show your very first quilt that you made (no matter how awful!) and then you show your most recent quilt. Well, I just finished a quilt several hours ago (how's that for timing?) so I thought I'd play along, too! Here is the quilt I just finished. You can read more about it here. I'd say the most inportant lesson I've learned along my quilting journey ~ take the time to PRESS!! It makes life so much easier. It really does...just do it. With a smile :)

And now for the first quilt......its actually still a quilt top. Folded up and stashed away in my closet. It was my first and I started it right after we completed our paperwork for our adoption. We had first applied for twins and I didn't want to finish the quilt until we knew for sure how many daughters we'd be brining home (if two, I was gonna break it up into two quilts, one for each daughter). We've since found out we no longer qualify for twins because we already have maybe I should finally finish it up? Oh ~ and the back of this quilt? Not a single seam was pressed. I just kept sewing. THAT should be fun to quilt, right?! Maybe I will just leave it as a flimsy :)

So, I thought I should also show a pic of the first quilt I finished. It was a gift for some friends and it was started the same evening the above top was finished, so its all in the same time frame. Sadly (or maybe fortunately), I dont' have a picture of the finished quilt. Its bad....oh so bad. It wasn't square AT ALL. Do you see those ruffles in the top right corner of the picture? Its not just the way the quilt is laying....its all ruffled and funky up there. I had my mom embroider some pink airplanes in the corners because it was for a baby girl whose parents are pilots. In an attempt to square it up, I nearly chopped off half an airplane (um, wouldn't it make more sense to square it up BEFORE embroidering???) Very few of my intersections match (which could explain the lack of squareness) and instead of machine quilting, I tied it. Oh yea, that yellow inner border? Its minky. Nothing like jumping in with the most difficult fabric on your first go 'round, eh? I didn't know how to piece a backing properly, so I just sewed a strip on to one end and called it good (and the seam was lopsided). But alas, I did learn a lot. I learned not to be afraid. I learned that one the final quilt was all washed up and ready to ship off, that although the quilt itself wasn't perfect, the hugs that it provides are. My quilting is still not perfect, but it gets better with each and every quilt and I've learned that there are NO QUILT POLICE! :)
Thanks for stopping by and I can't wait to see everyone else's firsts!

Its done!

My second finish of the year......I started slow, but I'm on a roll! I'm thinking about a "WIPing Through Summer" Challenge. Anyone game? I'll start a flickr group and lets challenge each other to see how many WIPs we can bust out between now and Sept. 1st.

ETA: The new WIPing Through Summer Flickr group has been created. Let's get WIPing!!

(please excuse the mess, between moving my sewing machine back into the kitchen and preparing to homeschool in the fall, my kitchen looks like a tornado has run through!)
I used my purple thrifted sheet for the back. It measures approx 36" x 52". It will be delivered today to a very special, cute little baby girl.

It felt really really stiff after all those lines were quilted, but once it was washed and dried it softened right up and came out full of snuggle, crinkly awesomeness.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

My new best friend....

Oh, 505 Quilt Basting Spray, where have you been all my life???

Without a doubt, basting is my least favorite quilty task. All those safety pins, my achy knees on the hard wood floor. The little divets that I would leave in said floor with said safety pins (oops). That would probably explain why I have a house full of flimsies and very few finished quilts. Then I ran across this post and my life has changed forever. F.O.R.E.V.E.R. Seriously. I was skeptical at first. But I bought some spray and I just finished basting a quilt in like less than five minutes. I KNOW, right?!? Awesome!

Thanks for all of the input yesterday. I agree that a green or turquoise would have looked fab, but I was working from my stash and I just didn't have any of those :( I went with Option A with the darker brown on top and the lighter tan on the bottom. I'm just using random, "organic" straight line quilting. The quilting is halfway done. I'm taking a break for lunch and then I'm back at it. By golly, this little number just might be finished my Monday afterall :) Enjoy the rest of your weekend, we've been blessed with glorious sunshine this holiday weekend and I'm trying to soak up as much of it as possible :)

Friday, July 3, 2009

I need your opinions....

Please excuse my wrinkles! :)
I am making a baby quilt for a friend who just had the sweetest baby girl. I'd like to deliver the quilt on Monday (I know, I know...) but as I was pulling out my original fabric I starting thinking maybe the other one would work better....I won't tell you what my original plan was, but I'm going to give you three options. Please tell me which you think would look the best. ;) The quilt will be in this style with a whole cloth, the row of strips and then another whole cloth. Thanks so much for your help! So....drumroll please.

Option A: One color on tope and the other on the bottom (and if you chose this one, which color would you put on top?)

Option B: Dark Mocha Brown on both top and bottom

Option C: Like Khaki on both top and bottom.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

RWB Strings

It seems that whenver Jason is home for more than just a few days my sewing time (and blogging time) takes a big hit. I hate just abandoning my blog like that and since he has a few more 7+ days at home at various times throughout the summer I think I may start playing around with scheduling posts to pop up while I'm away playing housewife :)

Anyhoo, I was able to get a few photos snapped this afternoon and my RWB strings have been streaming in from the mailbox. I now have 6 complete sets and I wanted to show you a picture of all of them laid out together.