Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Shoo Fly {a finished quilt}

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Back in the fall of 2012, I saw a gorgeous Shoo Fly quilt on Sotak Handmade.  I few weeks later I made a quilt top with the same design, and happily it is a WIP no longer!!!

The finished quilt measures 60” x 72”.  If you want to make your own, I used this 12.5” quilt block tutorial on Quilter’s Cache, and adjusted the fabric choices for the squares so that the design makes a ring.

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Red, white, and blue is such a classic color combination, and after making the quilt top I got it into my head that it would be a perfect Quilt of Valor for a woman.  Keeping that in mind, I picked a dark blue with white star fabric for the binding to keep it patriotic. 

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I had a hard time picking  backing for this quilt.  The white with aqua pindots was a simple solution.  I like how the pindots give the fabric some liveliness, but the overall simplicity of the back makes the front really sparkle.

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I just meandered all over the front with white thread.

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I get a feeling of Zen using my longarm—I just enjoy doodling around and no more pushing and pulling the quilt through my domestic machine or sweating the stitch length.

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Thanks for visiting!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Easter Recap

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This year I got it into my head that I was going to make baskets for the kids.  So the night before Easter, around 11pm, this is what my desk looked like.

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The three baskets took about 3 1/2 hours to make.  I ran out of interfacing and spent a significant chunk of time frantically searching through closets, and miraculously came up with a piece big enough to cut the rest of the squares.

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The butterfly, bird, toadstool, and coordinating polka dot fabrics are all from a collection called Flo’s Garden.  I let my daughters pick which color they wanted before I made them.  The idea is that they can use them in their room when Easter is over.

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I just love how they look all in a row.  The colors are so perfect for spring (and girls)!

We started a new Easter tradition this year.  A few months ago I took Bea and Esther to an estate sale—our first.  We found this bunny basket on a shelf and bought it for $2.  When we got it home we realized there were small egg ornaments wrapped in tissue paper inside.  So we thought we’d have an egg tree this year.

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I asked my hubby to pick up a tree from Lowes that we could plant in the yard after Easter.  He came home with this flowering quince tree.

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The girls hung them all up and we’ve had the tree decorating our front porch the past few weeks.  It’s time we find it a permanent place in the yard.

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How cute is that little blackbird?  Some of the eggs had stickers that said “Made in China,” so they aren’t the priceless heirlooms I was hoping to discover!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Easter!  Tomorrow it’s back to the old routine at our house.  I’m going to miss sleeping past my husband’s alarm clock.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

From Maine, With Fabric

I won’t bore you with photos of my vacation to Maine.  Like all the beautiful lighthouses we visited.

Or this cool one you have to walk out across the breakwater to get to.

Beachcombing on a rocky beach.  Can you spot my daughter in this photo?  My sister took this and I think it’s really cool Bea blends into the rocks.

Photo: Bea found a treasure trove here

Beachcombing on a sandy beach.

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Exploring old forts.  We visited an old graveyard too, but I left my phone in the car that time.

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Playing at the Children’s Museum in Portland.

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Learning to bake bread.

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Lots and lots of holding baby chickens that hatched the morning after we arrived.

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Attempting to go for a hike in the snow. (Not very successful, and we all fell at least once.)

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And feeding and collecting eggs from these ladies every afternoon.  My sister has chickens, turkeys, ducks, and goats.  The kids loved helping her with all the chores.

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Now for the fabric part of the post!!!!!!

My sister knows how much I love sewing, so she took us to a discount store (think Ollie’s or Big Lots) that has a huge fabric section in the back.

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All the bolts are arranged by color, then there are aisles of stripes, dots, and novelty fabric.  Most of it is older designer fabric, but some is from this past year.  I saw quite a bit Denyse Schmidt, Tula Pink, Erin McMorris, and Valori Wells.  I have to be honest, when we first went in and walked through the front of the store, I was doubtful.  But as we made our way to the back, the heavens parted and I saw paradise.

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Lucky for me, all my daughters love fabric and sewing, so they were more than happy to help me fill up my cart.  All the fabric is $5 a yard or less, so it was easy to say “YES!” 

Here’s what we left with (not including 3 other pillowcase kits that Bea already sewed into pillowcases).

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One thing my stash is  missing is prints without flowers.  It is a little tough to find fabrics for the “manly” quilts I’ve been making lately.  So these came home with us.  Not a flower or flourish in any of these!

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A set of 1/2 yard cuts from a Maywood collection of birds and blooms that Ronnie had  to have.

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Some fabrics I just liked.

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Remnants that are all 20% off at the register!

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Some additional low volume prints.

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And some random fabrics—Perfectly Perched, a bird print, stripes for binding for my Tone It Down quilt, and a humungous animal panel that I want to make a quilt from for myself even though it’s kid fabric.

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And some fabric my daughters had to have.  A pack of 10 fat quarters, some random cuts of fabric they liked, and two packs of 4 half yard cuts.

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Classing it up at the checkout.

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One day was quite rainy, so Bea sat down and sewed three pillowcases that day, so those kits were not pictured.

Photo: Bea makes her pillowcase

All in all, it was an amazing trip with the kids.  Sure, it was stressful at times in the airport (like when I misread the departure time for our return flight and we barely made it on the plane in time).  But I’d do it again, and not just for the chance to buy some discount fabric;)

I said I’d pick a winner from my giveaway today, so without further ado…

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Yay, #8, which happens to be my favorite number.  So the winner is Saira P.  I’ll email you shortly!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Triangle Quilt Along {finished quilt top}

Hey everybody, I’m back from Maine and wanted to get a post up quickly to make it in time for the link up on The Sassy Quilter.

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I took along my sewing machine and the stack of triangles and sewed this baby together at night after the kiddos went to bed.  I’m not sure if it was the unseasonably warm weather in Maine or just all the fun we had hanging out with my sister, but bedtime was after 10pm most nights, cutting into my sewing time major!  I just squeaked in this top the night before we left.

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I also brought along this stack of triangles and was able to arrange them using my sister’s huge upstairs as a “design floor.”

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I won’t get a second quilt done in time for the big parade of triangle quilts in two weeks, but I thought I’d make another in purple, black, and gold for my BIL.  Any guesses what football team he likes?

About a  month ago my computer had a huge crash and Picasa lost all my photos from the past few years.  No big deal because they are all on my hard drive, but now I need a new hard drive because there is no room left.  I’ve been using a free trial from Photoshop and have to make a decision…Picasa or Photoshop???  I’m just wondering if anyone recommends one over the other.  I am leaning towards just reinstalling Picasa when I get the new hard drive.  Any suggestions would be appreciated!