Friday, April 18, 2008

I Have Strayed

Yes, I strayed from my sewing machine a bit since November and hung out with the knitting needles. I started this scarf for my sister-in-law, Dr. Sara, in November with every intention of having it completed in time for her to use to brave those cold Boston winds of winter. Obviously I didn't make it in time but now she certainly will be ready for NEXT winter! It is made from the most luxurious yarn and I loved touching it while I was knitting. It is Alpaca, Cashmere, Camel and Yak yarn. You just can not believe how wonderfully soft and cozy warm this yarn is. Sara bought the yarn at a great yarn store in Boston called Woolcott and Company that we stopped by while visiting her in Boston. Amazing selection of the best fibers available. So, all that said, better late than never and another DONE on my list of UFOs. Woo Hoo!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Oh, The People I Met!

International Quilt Fest – Chicago, 2008!

What you are looking at here is a photo of Mare, Vanessa and I at the quilt show. One of the show photographers asked us (Yes, us!) to pose for a photo and here we are. I just “borrowed” it from the website so everyone could see it. If you want to look at the photos the professionals took of the show, click here (once on the webpage, click the link on the left of the page that states "On The Show Floor"). That is me, with my back turned to the camera, doing my first “professional” acting.
I must say that other than the birth of my children and Granddaughter, I have never had a more exciting and pleasing day. The real draw of the show for me was to meet my Blogsister, Mare, and her truly darling daughter Vanessa. It was so exciting I couldn't even sleep the night before. Hard for me to believe, but she is even more wonderful in person than I had perceived her to be from our literally thousands of emails. I am counting the days until next years show in Chicago. We are definitely going again!
Well, this past Saturday will certainly go down as one of my all time best days ever! Yes, that is a photo of me and none other than Alex Anderson from my favorite show, Simply Quilts. I nearly hyperventilated when I turned my head and saw her standing there. I am going to work on staying calm during future celebrity interactions. I fear I may have frightened this very kind woman.
I have many photos of the glorious quilts we were lucky enough to see in person. If nothing else, the Fest was a truly humbling experience. I will post them in days to come. They were amazing. This one here was one of very favorites. I loved the simplicity.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

International Quilt Fest Chicago - Here I Come!

In six short hours I board a plane in Tampa bound for O'Hare in Chicago and I am so excited I can barely function. I am going to the Quilt Fest!!!!! I am a very thankful and happy girl. What a wonderful thing. Not only do I get to attend the Quilt Fest, but I get to do so with my cyber friend from Mares' Nest and her daughter Vanessa. As if that were not enough, we are staying at my brother-in-laws house and get to celebrate our niece's 4th birthday with her. It just keeps getting better and better!
I promise many photos after the 'Fest! Have a great weekend everyone.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

12 Blocks Complete!

I met my quota - 12 blocks done before Monday. There will be 59 blocks total with 11 or 12 each of five different fabrics for the trees. The blocks are a 12 inch finished block.
Now, my question to all you wonderful quilters out there: What about all those bias edges? If I am very careful when assembling the blocks for the top, and then do a nice border on the quilt top for stability, will I be OK? Is there anything I should do to be certain it doesn't get wonky? Should I reduce the pressure on the sewing machine foot while piecing the blocks (someone told me this helps with bias edges)? Suggestions please........

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Brenda's Quilt Takes Shape

The strips. Well, most of the strips that will create the finished block.
I finally have had time to get back to sewing. I am working on a quilt for my middle sis, Brenda. Her paradise is in Golden Colorado, on the side of a mountain, with evergreen trees all around her. The absolute opposite of my paradise, which is all flat and surrounded by palm trees! The dichotomy is just too funny. So, all that being said, I promised her that in 2008 I would make her a quilt. I showed her some options I thought that she might like and she choose one that was all pine trees, set on point. It was the quilt that I liked the best, so I was happy with her choice. I had seen the quilt in a bedding catalog and tore out the page to show her. It seemed a very simple pattern and I was sure that I could find one to purchase when I had more time to shop. Well, that wasn't the case. I ended up making the pattern myself and in the photos above and below you will see a few of the steps I took to create the finished block. I need 59 blocks to get the size I am looking for.

Here I used painters tape to semi-permanently mark the proper placement of the 12 and a half inch template that I will use for trimming. The only thing that is a bit upsetting to me is the amount of waste. I just can't seem to come up with a pattern that doesn't have that much waste.

Wa-La. The first finished block! Only 58 twelve inch blocks to go...........