Friday, July 27, 2007

Debbie Caffrey Cuts It

Last week, my Sistahs Kathy and Becky came for a visit and we were very lucky to be able to attend two lectures and workshops with Debbie Caffrey.

Debbie is the author of Open a Can of Worms, Another Can of Worms, Power Cutting and Power Cutting Too, among others. She was a great speaker and offered us many tips on how to organize our stashes--ways we'd never thought of ourselves. We would look at each other and almost see the lightbulb go on over each other's heads (not to mention the "Duh" factor).

The workshops were even better.

Since these were process rather than product classes, we used scrappy fabrics to make the sample blocks and I think we were all amazed at how we could cut half square triangles and quarter square triangles from 2 1/2 inch strips, using rulers that we'd all had to buy for one class or another, but never used beyond that. She taught us to cut trapezoids too!!

I was completely impressed by the number and quality of the handouts she provided us. Using extra covers of her books as folders, she filled them with copies of patterns and cutting charts from the actual books, plus a few bonus patterns that were not in the books. Very generous of her to share all that with us. I wasn't the only one to purchase a few of her books just to get the full tips and all of the patterns which for the most part are quick and easy.

Debbie has also designed over 125 Mystery Quilt patterns and I've done a few of them at the Pincushion Boutique in Davis with Kathy (who has done way more than a couple!)

In addition to all the fun we had with Debbie, Kathy, Becky and I had a great time just being together. Quilting at it's best!

Next week--a trip to visit the boys in Fresno!!!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Doll Quilt Goodness!

And it is sew very cute!!!!!

My partner was Jhoanna from Melbourne, Australia and you should check out her website that is chock full of crafty goodness.

I love the bright colors of this darling log cabin and the way the gray sets it off.

Not only did Jhoanna send me this lovely quilt, she included lots of Australian goodies in the package, including: a very cool tote bag with Aussie critters on it, a woven tea towel, a kangaroo and baby pen and a little wood kangaroo picture holder. All very sweet, and wonderful for me because I've long held a fascination with the land "down under" and it is on my list of places to visit one of these years. I'd probably have been there by now if not for the terrible off-putting airplane ride. One of these years, I'll overcome that!

I'm so happy to have participated in this swap and would do it again any old time.

My in-laws are here to enjoy our county fair and the horse-racing, so I've been busy, but I have much to report, so more later.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Doll Quilt Swap is in the Mail!

My doll quilt is finished, washed, labeled and
in the mail to..................."recipient" !!!!

I forgot to measure it before mailing, but 13 by 18 inches is pretty close. I used a fat quarter for backing and there was not much left.

I used 1930's reproductions from my, ahem, rather generous stash because "recipient" likes them and so do I.

So, be watching your mailbox...."recipient." It should be there in a little while.

This has been a really fun project, and a lot more work than I thought it would be. I didn't realize that working in small scale meant that much of my hand quilting would be done over the seams.

Live and learn and onward to my Sew-A-Rows!


Susan (DesertSky) was tagged by Shelina who was tagged by Finn, and now she's tagged me. Here goes:

Five Things to Do Before I Die:

Five Things I Can Do: Five Things I Cannot Do (yet, if ever):
  • Read music and play an instrument
  • Keep my sewing area neat and tidy
  • Sing without making people nearby ill
  • Endure large crowds/gatherings for extended periods
  • Enjoy driving in freeway traffic
Five Things That Make a Man Attractive to me:
  • Intelligence--the most powerful attractant of all.
  • Voice--give me a strong one.
  • Eyes--they say it all.
  • Laugh--makes me happy to hear it.
  • Tallness / Broad shoulders--because big girls need big guys.
Perfect example of perfect man at right.

Five Celebrity Crushes:

Well, thats it. I can't think of anyone to tag, so if you read this, consider yourself tagged and let me know so I can read it!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Playing Catch-Up

While hand quilting on my Doll Quilt, I've not been a total slacker on the sewing front.

Vandy, a longtime member of the SR Quilt Guild is moving to the Portland area and her best buddy Norma has organized a friendship block collection for her. The background was to be cream or off-white and any other color, preferably a bright or clear color. Of course, mine had to be blue and I chose one of the FQs I bought from Karen Combs when she was here last year. This is such an easy block and would really make a pretty quilt.
To the left is my friendship block for Linda, a member of the guild and the Snooze-You-Lose mini group. Her theme was "They Only Come Out at Night," for Halloween blocks and I have to tell you, she has received some fabulous blocks. I used the Liz Aneloski method from her book Simple Fabric Folding for Halloween. The spider is a yo-yo that is machine sewed down and then gathered, a technique she demonstrated on Simply Quilts. I'm debating adding a tiny bright green spider below the big one......or perhaps a fly!

You've probably heard this elsewhere, but I like to use my digital camera to check for value when making a block for an exchange. My camera, a Casio Exilim 7.2 megapixel has a "Best Shot feature and within that menu there is a black and white option. Using that setup, I take a picture of the fabrics I'm auditioning and can often see value better than with those red and green plexiglass filters--especially when using reds. Here are two samples of a lotto block I was working on for my friend Kathy. Everything is the same in both blocks except the fabrics in north-south-east-west positions of the nine patch center. The fabric on the left is a mossy green and the fabric on the right is a red with gold metallic. I loved the green for color (the two patches are a medium gold and the background is a pale gold, but the red really showed up better. Red it is!
Finally, I am quilting away on the Doll Quilt and am probably half done. In the meantime, I've prepared the binding and have it stored in my favorite way; on an old cardboard ribbon spool. If I have a flimsy that I won't be quilting any time soon, I will often go ahead and make my binding and then hang it on a coat hanger with the flimsy and the backing so all is in one place when I'm ready for it and I haven't used the binding fabric for something else!

Friday, July 06, 2007

Summer Fun

You are The High Priestess

Science, Wisdom, Knowledge, Education.

The High Priestess is the card of knowledge, instinctual, supernatural, secret knowledge. She holds scrolls of arcane information that she might, or might not reveal to you. The moon crown on her head as well as the crescent by her foot indicates her willingness to illuminate what you otherwise might not see, reveal the secrets you need to know. The High Priestess is also associated with the moon however and can also indicate change or fluxuation, particularily when it comes to your moods.

What Tarot Card are You?
Take the Test to Find Out.

And......she's wearing a patchwork robe!!

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Cowabunga Dude!

I hate July.

Every year, its the same damned thing.

I try to make myself buck up by reminding myself that at least we don't live in the freaking San Joaquin Valley anymore like my unfortunate daughter and her family.

"At least it's a dry heat," is no consolation either.

I hate being hot.

Grumble, grumble. (Graphic shamelessly stolen from the OC Register via the internet. So sue me.)

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Hand Quilting

Of course this isn't me and this isn't my doll quilt, but you get the idea. I must say that I don't hand quilt in "traditional" way--I'm an up and down stab quilter, one stitch at a time. I taught myself and by the time I found a mentor or book with instructions, the patterning was ingrained in my brain and it was too late. I've tried to change from time to time, but after 32 years, this old dog ain't learning any new tricks in that regard.

I had it on the design wall for a couple of days while I was trying to figure out the outer border situation when I realized that it was done. Adding more just to have more would have been superfluous. Sometimes enough is enough.

I'm hoping to have the quilting done by next Monday so I can pop this baby in the mail to A Mystery Recipient and actually be ahead of the deadline. That would be pretty darned amazing for me as I am busting a gut to complete a Sew-A-Row for the Thursday deadline and I've had it since March......and it is a Mini row only 14" wide.

Today being Fourth of July, we are having hamburgers and I made homemade buns yesterday using the Year In Bread recipe from Kevin. The recipe sinfully calls for bacon fat and I went for it since we are not having the usual macaroni salad which is like crack to my Hubby. The buns look pretty dang tasty and I'll soon be popping a Texas Sheet Cake in the oven as well. Gotta bake early as the temps are expected to be near 100 F today.