Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Seashell Hunting

Summer in Florida is the pits.  Anyone who has ever been here in the summertime knows how warm and humid it can get.  It keeps me indoors most of the summer because there's nothing worse than being hot and sticky feeling...and that's just from stepping out the door and standing still. 
 
But I love to walk the beach.  I love listening to thundering sounds of the waves as they crash and feel the cool miss they create.  So in an effort to beat them both, I've been heading out early in the AM to walk the beach.  And one of my favorite activities while doing this is looking for shells.  I enjoy it so much that its become a sort of self imposed challenge to myself to see what I can find.
 
Here is the view that greeted me yesterday morning.
 
 
Pretty awesome...right? 
 
 
I never get tired of walking the beach and looking for shells. 
As the tide is going out, big piles of shells get left behind. 

 
 And you might want to walk right past without looking but you'd be
missing out.  Because you never know what you'll find.
 
 
Here are my finds from yesterday...the Guess sunglasses included.
 
 
 
And here are today's finds...including the $2. 
 
 
 
I can't wait to see what I find tomorrow.
 
  
P.S.  I'm still learning what many of them are so if you ask me,
I probably won't have an answer for you.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Mini 2014 Spring Quilt Market Recap in Photos

I'm sure you've already seen tons of photos of this year's Spring Market 
on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.  But I'd like to share with you
the fabrics and quilt designs that really spoke to me. 
 
For me, this market everything was about bright and bold colors along
with great quilt design!  Here is just a small sampling
of the wonderful things presented.
 
 
Emma's Garden by Patti Sloniger for Michael Miller
 
 
 
Beau Monde for Robert Kaufman
 
 
 
Up Parasol by Heather Bailey for Free Spirit
 
 
 
Rustique by Emily Herrick for Michael Miller


 
Aunt Ruthie's Farm Stand by Meg Hawkey of Crabapple Hill Studio for Red Rooster
 

 
 
Crazy Old Ladies Booth


 


Lace Mountain by  Zandra Rhodes for Free Spirit
 
 
 
color:FULL by Jennifer Sampou for Robert Kaufman
 


Hadley by Denyse Schmidt for Free Spirit




 

 
 
Cottage Garden by Alice Hickey for Free Spirit
 
 
 
Field Day by Alison Glass for Andover



 Till next time...

Friday, May 9, 2014

Let's catch up shall we...

I know I've been MIA for almost two months.  And I wish I could say that I was off
traveling the world on exotic adventures...but then I'd be lying.  I did however 
make a couple trips to the happiest place on earth...

DISNEY WORLD


And it was AWESOME!   I wish I had more pictures to share but I was too busy
walking around staring at everything like a wide eyed kid to bother with photos.  We had
 a blast!  It was like reliving a second childhood.  Unfortunately there were a
couple moments that I had to spend trying to keep my lunch down.
Damn you Mission Space!


Right before going I made a "bum bag" to wear at the park. 
Because really...who carries their purse around a theme park?


But my son said he refused to go with me if I wore it. 
Whaaaa?!  Like I'd ever embarrass him on purpose.
[insert evil laugh] 


Aside from that, I haven't been accomplishing a lot.  I wish I could say I have...
but then that'd be lying too.  I've been jumping from project to project doing a
little of this and that...trying to find something that could keep my interest.

One of the projects I've started is Don't Look Now's Animal Alphabet.


But instead of doing the appliques onto one large background piece, I decided to do
them as individual blocks.  I got this far and then ran out of what was probably
the last package of Steam a Seam II on the planet.


Once they're all completed, I'll figure out the next step.  I'll most likely different 
small patchwork blocks etc. around them to make them all one uniform
size and then piece those together.


Whiling visiting a quilt shop with friends, I came across some Pellon Lite EZ-Steam II
and bought a couple yards.  I had hear about it last May right after it was introduced at
Spring Market.  It was supposed to be the solution to our Steam A Seam withdrawals.  

Before I could use it I started hearing about all the problems people were having with it. 
The reviews online are not good.  But I knew I needed to decide for myself. 


It worked like a charm.  I plan to share an honest review
of the product in a future post.  So let's move on!


Last month I taught a freezer paper applique class to 20+ ladies in my local guild. 
Below is the block I taught them to make.  It was just a
simple little block I drew in EQ7.


 I have to say everyone did superbly and I hear there is only one person
from the class that decided applique wasn't for her. 
I've also continued to work on the swap gift from my last post.  I'll be honest. 
I didn't touch it again after my last post until this past weekend
when I machine appliqued and quilted it.

All that's left to do is turn it into a pillow cover.  I'm super happy with how it
turned out and would love to make it again...this time for myself!


And lastly...I made a lanyard and watch band because a girl's got to be
fashionable when she attends Spring Quilt Market!  Yes...once again I am
going to Market to see everything that's new and fabulous in the quilting world! 
  

 To learn how to make your own lanyard go to Pinterest where you can find
loads of tutorials.  You can also find tutorials for watch bands.
 
I decided to do my own thing and am pretty happy with the results. 
I learned a lot making it and know what I want to do differently next time.
For anyone interested the watch itself was purchased at Cracker Barrell.
Well that's all from me. 
I'll keep my eyes and ears open for anything
I think you might want to see while I'm at Market.
Till next time...

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

A swap gift in progress...

 
 
...or maybe this...
 
 
 
 
I haven't made up my mind yet.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Star Sampler Blog Hop - Star #9



Good day Quilters!

Welcome to my stop on the Inspired by Fabric Star Sampler Blog Hop sponsored by
Fabri-Quilt.  When contacted by Lisa and asked if I would
like to participate, I jumped at the chance. 

Here's the star I selected!  It has a very traditional
look but is pieced together in a  much simpler way.




So let's get started!













And there you have it! 
For a chance to win one of 3 fat quarter bundles of Marblehead Venetian Glass, sign up to follow Inspired by Fabric on their blog (using the "follow" button or the "follow by email" button in the right hand side bar) and leave an email letting us know you did, as well as telling us your favorite star block. You can leave a comment to enter once for each post during the Star Sampler hop (9 entries total). The giveaway will be open through Monday, March 17th at 11:59 EST, and we'll randomly pick 3 winners on Wednesday of that week. 

Make sure you catch the tutorial for all the blocks in the sampler!


March 4: Connie from Free Motion by the River
March 5: Joanne
March 6: Fabri-Quilt blog team
March 7: Dawn Stewart from Spring Water Designs
March 10: Heidi from The Whimsical Workshop
March 11:Fabri-Quilt blog team
March 12: Shanna from Fiber of All Sorts
March 13: Tammy from Tamarinis
Thank you for visiting and I hope you'll return again soon!
Till next time...

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

An AWESOME find...

...for those of you who like to English paper piece.
 
Several years ago Bonnie Hunter has blogged about buying a hexagon paper punch she had found in a craft store and how fabulous it was.  Right then and there I knew I wanted one.  Not enough to go online and buy one but enough to comb the scrapbooking aisles of every craft store I went into to find one.  I'd always find lots of punches but never hexagon ones.  This hexagon punch had become my unicorn...a myth that people hear about but never see.
 
Well...while roaming the aisles of JoAnn's the other day, I FINALLY found what I had been searching for all these years...and not just one but THREE! 
 
 
X-Large = 1" hexagon
Large = 3/4" hexagon (the one I use most)

 
and the Medium = 1/2" hexagon
 
 
Pretty fabulous...right?!  Never more will I have to order hexagons...at least in these sizes.  When I got home I did a little math to figure out what kind I'll be saving cost wise.
 
I used coupons to buy all three:
  • X-Large retails for $17.99...got it for $10.79
  • Large retails for $14.99...got it for $8.99
  • Medium retails for $10.99...got it for $6.59

Now onto the saving for the pieces themselves.  I compare the prices of what it would cost me to buy them from a manufacturer/retailer versus using a 250 sheet ream of 65 lb. paper that costs $15.99 from WalMart.

1"
  • 1 ream makes 5,000 pieces = Total $15.99
  • 4 pkgs of 1000 @ $35.00 each + 2 pkgs of 100 @ $3.50 each = Total $147

3/4"
  • 1 ream makes 8750 pieces = Total $15.99
  • 5 pkgs of 1500 pieces @$35.00 each + 1 pkgs of 750 @ $19.00 + 4 pkg at $3.50 8,750  = Total $206
1/2"
  • 1 ream makes 20,000 pieces = Total $15.99
  • 13 pkgs of 1500 pieces @ $35.00 each + 2 pkgs of 250 @ $3.50 each makes 20,000 = Total $462

One last thing...on top of all those savings, the punches have a lifetime warranty so save that receipt in case you ever need to get a replacement. 

A pretty awesome and thrifty deal if you ask me. 

Now I'm off to go do some EPP!

Till next time...

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

I'm back...with good news!

 
I know I've been absent for almost a month but it's been for a good reason.  I've been finishing up entries for our local quilt show which occurred this past weekend. 
 
Anyone who knows me personally, knows I hate entering quilt shows.  It's just never really been my thing.  I know my work isn't perfect.  I know what I could've been done better with each piece.  And I cringe at the thought of a judge critiquing my work and pointing out the flaws and why I didn't win.
 
With that said...since moving to Florida I've made some friends that encouraged me to enter.  Sometimes they even had to give me a kick to keep going and finish.  And I'm glad they did because it pushed me to want to do my best work.  I'm still not going to win any awards in Houston or Paducah but I'm pleased with the results. 
 
First, as a group we entered the Group Challenge and took third place.  For our challenge we each created a quilt using Tula Pink's City Sampler book.  Which blocks, how many, and the layout was up to each person.  As a group, I think we did pretty good.  They all looked good next to one another and had cohesion.
 
Here are the pics of our group entry.  Thank you Joey for letting me steal photos from your Facebook page.
 
 
On the left is Joey's map of Barcelona using Zen Chic's Barcelona fat quarter bundle.  She even added in a Mariner's Star and map legend.  It was very cool...and very outside the box.
 
On the right is Margy's quilt.  She used Kate Spain's Simply Color bundle along with other pieces from her stash.  Margy was the only one of us that made all 100 blocks.
 
 
 
On the left is Donna's bed runner.  She used a small sampling of Tula's blocks and used Asian prints. 
 
On the right is Maureen's using tone on tone prints.  Never in a million years would I have thought to use Tula's blocks in the way she did.  It was a pretty awesome idea...and very effective!
 
 
 
And here is mine...feathers and all.   I call it "Dear Tula."  It may look familiar to you because I created a smaller version with leftover blocks in December to practice my feathers before quilting this one.
 
The judge's comments were that my quilt had "excellent asymmetrical balance" and the "change in scale works well."  She also said that I need to "strive for more consistent stitch length"  which I was painfully aware of before entering it.  Sometimes I move faster than my machine can quilt.
 
 
My second entry was "The Butterfly."  Back in January it received a Best Machine Applique award from the board members of the guild that hosted the challenge and it hung at the Mancuso World Quilt Show in West Palm Beach.
 
 
At this show, it received second place in the Small Machine Applique category.  The judge's comments were that it had "high contrast fabrics for striking design" and an "additional border treatment may have added to this design."  I totally agree about the additional border...if I were ever to do another black quilt for a show.  It just doesn't show well against a black curtain...a definite lesson learned.
 
She also noted bearding on the quilt and that I needed to use black batting...which I did.  It just goes to show judges aren't always right and they make mistakes sometimes too.
 
 
And lastly, my third and final entry was for the Member Challenge.  I call it "Tropical Beauty". 
 
 
Here is a picture of it after it was blocked and bound.  Sorry the photo is not better.  It's hard to see all the feathers in the quilting which is what I'm especially proud of.  The challenge winners were decided by ballot as a Viewer's Choice.  And I'm happy to say it took second place.
 
The challenge theme was "Quilting in Paradise."  We were to create a quilt no larger than 24" square with some type of foliage and we had to use the green fabric on the left in the first photo below. 
 
Here's a look at all the entries as they hung at the show.  I was really impressed by all the entries.
 
 
 
 
In this photo you can see the 1st (turquoise) and Honorable Mention (white) winners.
 
 
 
And here is 3rd (yellow) and 2nd (green-me) winners.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Well I'm off and running.  I have a couple of quilts to longarm.
 
Till next time...hope y'all have a great rest of your week!