Monday, October 7, 2013

Check Out This Haul!

Last month I had the pleasure of participating in this years Maricopa County Independent Quilt Shop Association Shop Hop.  Five of us 'quilty gals' loaded up in a van and spent a couple of days traveling around Maricopa County visiting the 14 shops that were participating in the event.  We got to touch LOTS of fabric and see a notion or 2, or 3, or 4... demo'd in each shop.  And, of course, we all came home with bags of fabric and STUFF.  This is a pic of my haul for the two days.  I was doing stash building so I picked up some solids, some prints that read as solids and a few prints that spoke to me or promised to play well with others.  The first day I was shopping blindly... as in, I had NO IDEA what I wanted or needed to replenish my stash, that's the day I bought the prints.  That evening, once I returned home, I did an inventory of the stash to determine WHAT I should be focused on the next day.  I had almost NO solids and was shy on darks in every bucket.  It's been a couple of weeks since the shopping event hop and I'm just now pulling it all out of the bags.  I think I did okay.  Now on to the washing and ironing phase.  YUCK!  I don't know why I ever started doing this task but how do I stop?  Then I would have pieces that were washed and pieces that weren't.  Wouldn't the Quilt Police take all of my beloved fabric away if they found it in such a state?!
 I did have a GREAT time with the gals but it's a good thing this only happens once a year!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

I'm Just Talkin' About... Ironing

Pressing cloth smooth ( has been an activity of humans all over the world for a very long time. Over the years cloth pressing instruments have gone through many different forms to get to what we use today.

When I was a kid ironing was an event that happened alot at my house.  My mom took in ironing to earn a few extra dollars for the household (does anyone still IRON for money other than a dry cleaning company?).  She would sprinkle water on each item,  roll each piece up in a tight little roll and then wrap it all together in a bath towel.  It would sit that way for awhile, maybe even overnight, until she ironed it.  Bet she would have liked a steam iron!

Do you iron anything?  I do, more than I wished.  I think it's one of those mothers curses my mother left me!  I iron my husbands jeans, Dockers, polo shirts & button-up shirts.  He likes cotton, none of this permanent press no iron stuff for him!  I must admit I also prefer cotton and can't bring myself to wear something wrinkled (I'm convinced this is also a mothers curse). I also iron things like pillowcases.

How often do you replace your ironing board cover and iron?  Needless to say because of this CURSE to IRON I'm kinda hard on an ironing board and iron.  The surface of the ironing board cover becomes scorched, stained and torn.  Recently while ironing a piece of white fabric (Oh Yeah, I iron a LOT of fabric too) the fabric picked up the dark discoloration caused by scorching. Grrr....  It was time for a new cover!  I seem to replace a cover every 3-5 years and irons vary.
Do you have a particular brand of iron or cover you prefer?   I always buy Rowenta brand irons which used to last me about the same length of time as the cover but lately it seem like I've had to replace them every year or two.  This doesn't make my checkbook happy ( that word 'checkbook' probably dates me, huh?) I've tried some different kinds f ironing board covers that promise to make the job easier because they reflect the heat up to fabric.  I find they also reflect heat to fingers and I end up with burns on them,  OUCH!  This time I just visited my local Target store and was successful in my mission to NOT spend a LOT of MONEY.  I snagged a whimsical polka dot cover on the clearance rack (8 bucks!)


Are you old school?  And then there's board clips.  Back in the day an ironing person had to use board clips (another term that dates me) to keep the cover on the ironing board.  Then they started making covers with a draw string, I didn't find they worked very good so I continued to use clips.  These days they make covers with an elastic band.  Now... being old school when I approached the task of replacing my cover I also went searching for new clips since mine were worn out.  But I couldn't find them in any store.  So went to Amazon (they have everything and it usually arrives next day!) 

So now I'm ready for another couple years of that dreaded chore.... IRONING.



Sunday, August 11, 2013

Charity Fabric Donation Mission Complete

The fabric from my Midnight Caper got to its final destination recently.  It was delivered to the Peace by Piece Quilters during their latest bee.  This was 154 yards of fabric on display for a room full of quilting volunteers.

It got admired...
and fondled...

and hugged...

Some of it even got extra special attention...

and it (the fabric that is) made everyone HAPPY.

This fabric will go on to become quilts for seriously ill and traumatized children within the communities of these dedicated volunteers.

Friday, July 26, 2013

Remember This Quilt?

This is a quilt I made last year.  If you are interested in more info on it you can check it's story out in this POST.
As all quilters know, when ya make a quilt ya also make leftovers (scraps).  The pattern, Tokyo, can be found in the Fons and Porter Easy Quilts Scrap Quilts Fall 2011 magazine. Once the project was complete my leftovers included nine blocks (cuz I made my quilt smaller than the pattern called for).  This quilt was so FUN to make I just had to do something with the leftovers!

So I drug out my graph paper (yes I am one of those kind of people that draws it out first).  I decided I needed to make a few more block and an alternating block to make a nice size quilt.

An easy and quick to assemble alternate block was a must.  I dug through my stash and found a white on white fabric with a polka dot pattern.  But an exhaustive search did not find a coordinating fabric that worked so a trip to the fabric shop was needed (shucks, hehe). The picture above show all the blocks made and displayed on the design wall.  I always take a picture at this point in the process because it helps me see the overall placement for a visually pleasing end result.
Here's the finished quilt!  A dark brown resting strip and the same fabric used in the alternate block tied it all together.  It finished to be 72 inches square.

The back was more difficult than the front.  The best laid plans... I loaded it on the longarm and began quilting.  About half way through the quilting I ran out of backing!  WHAT THE...   Determined to use fabric I already had I made MORE alternating blocks and sewed them together with BIG squares of leftover fabric from the original blocks.  It whole thing looks a little odd but it works.
Since I am faithful to the Rules of the Quilt Police all my quilts have a label.  This quilts label is sewn into the back just like a block.  It reads:

The thirteen colorful blocks on the front of
this quilt were leftover from a quilt made as
a wedding gift for a friend.  The twelve
squares matching the ones on the back of the
quilt were added to the collection to make a
useable size quilt.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

A Day in the Life of a Carrot

Yesterday morning I awoke with not only a husband and a cat in bed with me but also a CARROT.  This may sound like an unusual scene to most but at my house it is a common sight.

A little later in the morning I noticed CARROT was hanging out by the cat bowls.

Then I found CARROT in the hall.
I often spend morning hours in my sewing room.  As I was leaving the room I discovered CARROT had perched itself in the doorway.  

Later I found CARROT laying by a cabinet in the dining room. 
Then CARROT found a soft spot on the rug in front of the kitchen sink. 

 In the afternoon I found CARROT taking a nap with the cat. 
 Here CARROT is hanging out by the dining room table.  CARROT must know it's dinner time.
After dinner I went to watch a little TV and there was CARROT hanging out in my chair.
When I went to get ready for bed I found CARROT laying on the bathroom vanity. 
 Sometime in the middle of the night I got up to get a drink of water and found CARROT sleeping on the step in the living room.
 CARROT is housebound but does get plenty of exercise and manages to keep itself entertained.  CARROT also enjoys social time spent with the best buddies a CARROT could hop for, Jazz and Rose (they are much better to have around than a bunny, which one finds in most CARROT stories).

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Sharon Schamber Trunk Show

Yesterday I attended the monthly meeting of the Phoenix Modern Quilt Guild.  It was held at Scrapbooks ECT, in Mesa and it was a meeting not to be missed.  The guest speaker of the day was none other than quilt extraordinaire, Sharon Schamber.  Sharon brought with her several BIG suitcases filled with her quilts.  These aren't JUST QUILTS, these are BEST OF SHOW award winning quilts that have hung in national shows all over the country. Many of her quilts have also been published in national quilting magazines.  I just gotta say... the woman makes some AWESOME quilts!

This is the third time I have been privileged enough to see her trunk show.  Her skill and talent is such that you just don't get tired of seeing her stuff.  AND she is one of most down to earth people you'll ever meet.  She is very engaging, funny and sharing.  She has developed several techniques for accomplishing exquisite workmanship in time saving ways and she shares all of her tips and tricks with the audience.  If you ever get a chance to view her trunk show DO IT!

Sharon will be at the Rim Country Roundup Quilt Show in Payson, AZ in October this year.  She is teaching five classes (at very affordable fees) in conjunction with the show.  Here's a great opportunity to learn from one of the best.