Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Baby Charm Quilt...

Decided to make a little quilt for my new baby nephew. Found a few charm packs and took about an hour to figure out what combinations of fabrics to use. Decided to do a rainbow of 6 color rows, using as many of the same designs but you know of course there was design A in 5 of the colors and design B in only 4, etc. So it took a bit to figure it out but eventually i just made it work...

Laying out the strips...
First 4 rows assembled. Pretty fast - about 7-8 minutes a row...
I think I had the top pieced in less than an hour.
My mantra was "bang it out. bang it out." : )
I think I was trying to prove something to myself.
Basting the batting to the top.
Yeah, I don't really know what I'm doing, honestly.
The ugly underbelly. Lots of trimming.
Everything was crooked. oy.
The quilt turned right-side out... I think I'll restitch it on the inside and then I'll top stitch it... Was kind of wanting to hand-quilt it - it felt so good in the hand - but about 8 " from being done I broke the needle and had to completely disembowel about 4 bags and my whole desk trying to find my flipping machine needles... so - stopping here for tonight and we'll see what's what in the light of day.

11/30/12 update: Meanwhile, back at the ranch... So now I've restitched the outer border
on the inside, trimmed it, de-safety-pinned it, and have sewn closed the opening.
I've finished top stitching the edge, finished the stitch in the ditch quilting
and am moving on to embellishing some of the light squares with some free motion stuff.

A litle free-motion... very new to me! As someone who doodles spirals habitually (and smoothly)
you would think this would be more comfortable but it's kind of like trying to draw
a portrait with my left hand - very awkward... but I am staring to see
how it does indeed get easier with practice.
The backing against the top. I think I should be able to finishe it tonight.
I am starting to feel like a bonafide quilter. P.S. I was watching episodes of Hoarders while working on this...
I was feeling like I needed to brush up... "the room" is like - whoa. You know what I'm talking about. This sure
didn't have the acreage to bust much stash. About a yard and 1.5 charm packs total... but it did inspire me to revisit all my pending projects - the topic of my next post. oooo.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Caroline's in Rome City and More.

Caroline's Cotton Cottage. Charmant!

What a great little shop. Packed with great stuff... but very tidy. Really, a pleasure.
...in which I bought a collection of pansy-colored fabrics...
solids, prints, homespun, solids and batiks - all playing nice together.

and a handful of repros. aren't these just gorgeous?!

sylvan springs
downtown LaGrange (?)

Gorgeous drive heading back to the retreat...


Some work from last night...

Kansashi flower. Fun and easy... need to finish with a nice vintage or fabric-covered button...
Then it's going straight into MARGOT's hair! (right, Gretchen?)

teeny tiny bintsy 1/4" English paper piecing hexies.

Some work from tonight...

Amish Churndash...

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Shipshewana - Dear Jane Retreat

Well, I made it to the DJ retreat...but I might have been the last person to arrive...

We are not in Kansas anymore... (we're in Indiana)

The drive between the western 'burbs of Chicago and Indiana is a pretty one -
once you get past Gary.

Beautiful sunset tonight.

Lolly's treated our group to a catered dinner, then we hit the shops.
I picked up some notions and a Jennifer Chiaverini novel.
This is the "sewing room" at the conference center. It's a huge
room set up for 100 people. Two quilters split an 8' table.
Shared cutting and ironing stations... and a ginormous snack table.
We had a nice presentation by a quilt historian on women/quilts of the civil war.

This basket quilt was awesome. It was in such great shape it was kind of strange.
It was like someone had just made it yesterday and washed it once in warm water.

closeup of basket quilt.

More antique civil-war era eye candy.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Cynical Cyndi posts her Happy Hat Adjustment

Hello, Happy Campers!

Well, it's election day and I am feeling happy, anxious, relieved, on-edge... My default is really Cynical Cyndi, but I am gonna try to give myself a little Happy Hat Adjustment here...

Happy Hats:

1) I started decorating for Christmas yesterday... October was kind of a month from hell as my little boy had a bad fall and ended up having to have surgery pinning both his legs near the hip bone. He will make a full recovery but it's been stressful to say the least. I could have waited a few more weeks to take on Christmas, but I was ready to make a change, so... I de-Halloween'd, did some cleaning, located all the necessary "infrastructure" (extension cords, etc.) My son was delighted to come home from school and see the lights up on the mantle. Every time I had to reconnect something, he yelled at me for turning off the Christmas lights. : )

Poor Thanksgiving gets no respect in this house. I am a Christmas freak! I have two full-sized trees, two medium trees, and countless miniature trees. Well, not countless - I've counted them and they are finite. But I just can't remember the number right now.

2) I'm meeting my "Happiness Project" partner tomorrow. Are any of you guys doing this? Or has anyone read the book? Our next project was supposed to be to work on a vision board, but we're behind. I've done these before and I think they are awesome.

3) I have a wine-tasting Thursday night downtown!  Spain at the Palmer House Hilton. Kick ass! Looking forward to hanging out with good friends and learning more about wine.

4) Next week I'm heading to Amish Country for the Dear Jane Retreat! wahoooo! finally! I need a little personal retreat anyway so this will be good. Hopefully, I can get a chunk of sewing done while I'm there too. Are you going?