Monday, July 30, 2012

Have you heard?

I probably read about this on many blogs recently, but until this weekend, I never really cared much.  What made this weekend different, I'll never know, but for some reason I was compelled to join in the fun.  Perhaps it was because hubby was going to be gone all weekend and I needed something to keep me busy.  (Let me tell you that although I do have my new iPad up and running .....thanks to the Best Buy's not as much fun as I expected!  I did play Angry Birds for a solid 4 hours on that first day, but even that seemed fruitless for a whole weekend.  Hello!!  lol)

Bet you don't know what I'm talking about, huh?  Well here is the link to my excitement.  For some reason, when a friend mentioned the challenge last week, I could have cared less, but then as the days continued I got more interested and so on Saturday morning I hopped in my car and took off to my LQS for the proper Kona colors.  (I probably had some in my stash, but since I had given my friend my Kona color card when I saw her and my new one with all the new colors hadn't arrived yet, I figured I might as well buy them all.  (Not all of the Kona colors.......EIKES...........just the 10 for the challenge.)  Then I came home and played.  You are allowed up to 3 pieced entries.  (Applique is not allowed.)

I started with this one which finished at 12 by 12 1/2 inches.

QuiltCon Challenge Block #1

Then I moved on to this one.  That ended up to be 10 x 12 1/2 inches:

QuiltCon Challenge Block #2

Did you notice that I didn't use my gray solids for that one?  I thought I'd throw a bit of a mix in there just for fun.  (Besides, I'm really not a gray girl......ugh!  But I do like that print for some reason.)  So, that took care of Saturday.  Then on Sunday, I made this one (which has always been one of my favorites, I must admit!) and it turned out perfectly at just the right size of 11 x 12 1/2 inches.

QuiltCon Challenge Block #3

It sure does look a bit wonky on the picture (don't you agree?), but let me assure you that it is straight.

So what do you think?  Doesn't this look like fun?  I do have some scraps left and for sure there is enough for a block or two, if you want to try too.  I'll even include some white (which, believe it or not, I order in 5 yard bundles.)  If you want more inspiration, go to the QuiltCon Flickr group which is full of gorgeous blocks.  I'll pick someone tomorrow so I can get these scraps off to you pronto.  We wouldn't want you to be late for the challenge, would we???  Enjoy!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Close, but no cigar (yet)!

Do you remember my last post where I was having trouble with my new iPad?  Well, I'm sorry to say that I'm no further now than I was then, but look what I ordered and what came in today's mail:

I'm thinking that between that goofy book and the Geek Squad from Best Buy (who will be here between noon and 4 pm tomorrow), I will be up and running in no time!  (I hope!!)  In truth, I actually bought the  "senior" book because I thought that older people are probably not as technology savvy as someone younger and the book might speak their language.  ('Course I in the senior category myself, but don't tell anyone!)  And, talking about lack of any kind of technology're looking at her!!  I sure hope I can be civil tomorrow........and the "geek" has patience!  Lord help us!!  lol  I will let you know...........

In the meantime, I want to show you another crayon quilt.  I really like this one and have decided that I will use the drawing again, but do it in applique.  Perhaps in solids.  That should be interesting, I think.  I wanted to do connection circles and this is what I came up with:

When I posted the finished quilt on Flickr, someone said it was maybe my brain connections.  I like to think so.....all colorful and fun!!  How cool would that be, huh?

Here it is all colored, but not stitched yet.  This one looked pretty good, even at that stage.

I love it done though.  It ended up at 16 1/2 by 17 1/2 inches with a border quilted with 1/8 inch lines.  That took forever, but I think it really makes it special.


"Connections" - detail

I named it, "Connections"!  It seems to fit!  lol

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Woe is me

I bet you have never met anyone in your life who couldn't get one of these up and running:

Well, honey, you know one now!!  Our 40th wedding anniversary was Friday so DH and I decided to get an iPad.  Now, we all know tons of people who have one and use them, right?  Hello!!  I mean, DH has an iPhone4S and I use a MacBook, so setting up an iPad shouldn't have been too tough for us, right?  NOT!!!!  Seems that my MacBook uses one e-mail incoming and outgoing code and DH's iPhone another code so nothing coordinates the way it should.  We were on the phone Friday afternoon with 3 Apple genius' for over 3 hours and they haven't a clue what to do.  The suggestion was to call our e-mail provider to straighten out the problem, but when DH did that, they insisted it wasn't their problem and to call AT&T which is DH's phone provider.  You can only guess what AT&T said..........YUP, they told us that it wasn't their problem either and the e-mail provider had to be the culprit.  So.....isn't this just ducky???  E-gads, I HATE technology!!!  Hate, hate, hate it!!  In the meantime, the new iPad sits on the counter and can't do a thing.  You can only imagine what I am thinking!  TAKE THE DAMN THING BACK!!!  I didn't need it up to this point, and I don't need it now!!  Screw it!  What really took the cake is when one of the Apple genius' (named Barbara) told me that she talks all the time to an 84 year old grandma who "just loves her iPad".  After all of this, I'm wondering if the grandma loves her iPad so much, why is she constantly talking to the genius named, "Barbara" all the time???  Hello????   Did Barbara think that comment just went over my head?  Hello!!!  NOT!!!  I wish I could write dirty words because I'd really like to!!!  Give me a sewing machine any day of the week!  At least the frustration isn't as bad!  (At least most of the time.)  lol

On another note, the Sew, Vote, Swap #5 is over and it's always such a fun surprise discovering which quilt will come my way.  This time, I received my #1 pick made by Lindsay who is also known as "Fly Girl Fly".  Her entry reminded me of the fantasy of little girls:

Sew, Vote, Swap Quilt -Received

If you remember, or perhaps I didn't show you, this is what I made:

"A Small Fiesta"

Other than that, not much is new.  I haven't been sewing like I should.  (Has anyone??)  Not much is going on in Flickr lately (as you might have noticed), and I only need so many quilts for us so why bother making more?  (What a lazy attitude, huh?)  I do have something in mind that I want to try, so hopefully, I will get to it this week.  Problem is that if it turns out good enough, I might save it for some swap and won't be able to show you anyway.  Bummer!  One of these days, I should make something big though.  That would take up some time and some fabric.  I'm thinking with all this little stuff I make lately (and using the crayon method too), I could be set for fabric for at least the next 20 years or so and surely that's not too thrilling!

Monday, July 16, 2012

"You Rock"

Just like most of the US, we've had exceptionally hot weather in Wisconsin.  In all my days on this planet, I can't ever remember so many days stretched out in the high 90's and even days over 100.  In fact today and tomorrow are supposed to top the 100 degree mark again and I HATE it!!!  Being asthmatic really sucks in this weather!  It's normally hard enough to breathe anyway (with a lung capacity of only 39% due to an acute infection which hospitalized me for 10 days in 2005), but in this weather it's nearly impossible!  Thank God for air conditioning and crayons!  Yes, you heard that right...........CRAYONS!!!  I've broken them out again (now that I found the perfect sharpener at my local grocery store) and I have been busy!  I've made a few creations (some of which I might use for swaps so must keep under wraps), but this one I just couldn't save.  I love it and it has brought out inspiration for, names, affirmation sayings, numbers, etc.  What do you think?

First, of course, I did the drawing.  Actually, prior to that, I was just doodling on note paper, but when I realized where I was going, got out some big paper to "play" on.

"You Rock" - the drawing

When I was done, I couldn't trace it fast enough, I was so excited to see it finished.  This is what it looked like colored.  (I show you these ugly pictures, just so you know that your quilt will look 10000% better finished when you try this method too, you know??)

"You Rock" - the process

And here it is all done:

"You Rock" - The finished Quilt

"You Rock" - up close

Fun, huh?  The finished size is 15 x 17 inches and it's for sale.  The first $59 plus $6 shipping takes it home!  Someone must need a "You Rock" quilt starring at them in their sewing studio, don't you think?  E-mail me!  My info is on my side board.

I suppose you're all wondering how the family pool party went last Saturday.  I really wanted to take pictures (really I did!!).  I charged up my camera and everything, but when it was all going on, I forgot to even take the goofy camera outside, I was so busy going in and out getting stuff for everyone.  I think the gang had a good time.  The weather was nice....high 80's with a slight breeze and the food was yummy!  I think my biggest hit was this marinated tomato salad:

Marinated Tomato Salad

I got the recipe from The Pioneer Woman's blog and it was MARVELOUS and I'm not even much of a tomato girl!!  I will make it again!!  Her blog is listed on my sideboard, so click on it, then cooking, and go to "sides" and scroll down to Missy's Marinated Tomato Salad (or something like that) to get your own copy of the recipe.  You'll love it too, I promise!!  Oh......just for the record, I forgot to add the thyme, so you really don't need it..............(just for the record).  lol

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

It's that time again........

When you have a backyard that looks like this, you have to expect to have summer parties, I guess.

My backyard

Actually, that picture was taken a few years ago, but nothing much has changed except the color of the rolled up solar cover.  (It's gray now.  lol) (And the temp of the water is hotter since we've had sooo many scorching days this year!)  I neglected to take a shot of the connected concrete patio with the table and chairs.  Maybe I should have since it'll be filled with my relatives this Saturday for our annual pool party so NOW you know why I haven't been sewing much.  Planning, planning, planning, you know!!!  And cleaning, cleaning, and picking up here and there and quite honestly, wondering if I should pack away everything on the dining room table............although I doubt if it'll rain and even if it does, I bet they wouldn't come in the first place!  It seems a shame to pack away everything for only a few hours, don't you think????  I mean, EVERYBODY knows I sew anyway so what's the difference?  E-gads, I HATE this indecision stuff!!!

I did make a few bitty blocks though for July and then it occurred to me that I hadn't even showed you the ones I did for June.  The June theme was garden so this is what I made:

My Garden - June

12 flowers and 12 carrots.  Easy, easy!!!  Then, this month, the themes are dogs and trees, so I made these:

BBC - July- Dogs

BBC - Dogs

BBC - July - Trees

BBC - July - Trees

I am getting quite a collection back too.  You should see the stack I have collected!!  Lord knows what I am going to do with them all.  I was thinking they might make a real fun I spy quilt though.  Maybe I should get going and start sewing them all together, huh?  Sounds like a project for next week.  This week, I have to think if I should clean off my dining room table or not!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

"Summer Whimsey"

I think I told you awhile back that I recently joined the QT Swap with a "Backyard" theme.  Originally, my plan was to perhaps do a birdbath with wonky birds, but then, as the weather got warmer and warmer, my thoughts went to another medium that I haven't done in ages!  When I was a little girl (well, actually I don't think I was ever a ....."LITTLE GIRL", so let's say....... a young girl) I used to love to play with crayons when the weather was warm.  (I'd do a lot of reading then too, but that's another story!)  I'd get out my coloring books, or just drawing paper and be entertained for hours.  SO, I thought why not break out the crayons again?  I got to work and drew this:

Can you see the bug?  What's better for backyards than bugs, I say!  I wanted to make him cute though.  After I was done drawing, I made the lines darker by going over them with a fine magic marker so I could see the drawing through white Kona.  I cut a piece of fabric the size of the drawing, adding an inch to every side, just in case it wasn't straight when I was done and traced the drawing with a pencil to my fabric.  THEN, I took a piece of freezer paper ..............................(for all you who have already read these instructions on a former post, you can skip this part, okay?) and I ironed the freezer paper (shiny side down) to the back of the traced fabric piece.  (This is to give the fabric strength so you can color it.) When I was done, it looked like this:

Not impressive, to be sure.........but, we're not done yet!  After you finish coloring, remove the freezer paper from the back, and going to your ironing board, lay a thin (cheap) piece of muslin on the top and then iron.  You should smell careful not to burn it!  This melts the crayon into the fabric fibers and makes the color permanent.

Next, make a quilt sandwich just like you would for any other quilt, and taking only black thread in both the top and bobbin, outline all your lines with a free motion stitch.  ( NOT lower your feed dogs!!  You will have much more control.)

When you are done, your quilt should look close to this.  (Except I also added hand stitching, a few colonial knots and a bunch of buttons for more whimsey:)

Summer Whimsey

Did you check out his googely eyes?  (I LOVE googely eyes!  lol)

A close-up of summer whimsey

Cute huh?  I'm not sure my partner thought so though.  She didn't say much!  Perhaps it was because of the back.  They don't look pretty at all with this method, but what can you do?

So, don't all run for your crayons at once now!  It is fun and I promise you'll feel like a kid again but most of all, you'll stay nice and cool!!!  Have fun, my friends!  Until next time..................

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

"Giveaway Winner"

Wow!  I can't believe how many of you want to make a red and "something" quilt!  So many!  In my mind's eye I can just "see" them all hanging together on display.  What a beautiful sight that would be, don't you think?  It was so hard to choose, but one entry stood out for some reason and I think it's because of how I got the stack of red solids in the first place.  It was a gift to me from the owner of my LQS for contributing so much to the start of their KONA solids club.  I did make a bit of stuff, to be sure......but it was so fun!  Anyway, this is the comment that touched my heart:

Zany Quilter:  "I'm in the Las Vega Modern Quilt Guild and I think we would use it for a challenge/charity quilt for an upcoming auction.  We would likely pair it with earthy khaki or bone color in some modern pattern.  It would be a shared project with every member making a block or two from the same fabrics."

I have e-mailed Zany Quilter for her mailing info, so I hope she gets back to me soon.  I love the fact that the stack will be used for a charity quilt.  Thank you all, a hundred times over, for your nice comments and tries for the prize.  I have something else in mind for another giveaway in the near future, so stay tuned.  I think you'll like it.  That time, I think I won't tell you and just give it to someone randomly.  Wouldn't that be fun?