Archive for March, 2011

March LaPetité Grown-up!

Just after seeing the pattern, Endless Summer, for the March LaPetité project, I was on the Fat Quarter Shop site and LOVED this fabric line.  With the bouquet panels, I thought it would be perfect to enlarge.  I’d have a spring/summer throw for the couch instead of another  wallhanging.

I used the Skye Penelope Fat Quarter Bundle as my fabric that included 1 panel piece.  I added coordinating fabrics for the sashing & posts and the border.   I mapped out my plan on my EQ7 software and came up with my quilt size and the number of pieced blocks I needed to make.

I started the project on National Quilting Day (3/19) and railroaded myself by cutting tooooo many pieces for my pieced blocks which wasted time and fabric.  😦   By the time I had the 15 blocks made… I wasn’t even sure if I liked them anymore!! Argh!!

However, I continued on and on evenings I was too tired to quilt, I could piece the sashings or assemble the rows.  Over last weekend, I got my samples ready for my upcoming Saturday class.  I was finished mid-Sunday so then proceeded to finish my Endless Summer quilt.   Tomorrow I’m going to load it on the long-arm and get it quilted.    I love freehand quilting so much but must get in some pantograph work so that will be the project for this quilt.

It finishes to 61″ x 70 1/2″.   The binding will be the floral print like the border.

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March Guild

Finally, our quilt guild was able to meet this month.  January had too much snow.  February had too much ice. Yikes!!  (And we take off in December for Christmas.)

I was excited to see so many friends again after such a long break. However, I had a job so I missed out on the hour of visiting once I got there.

I’m heading up/organizing the raffle committee for this year’s project.   Not that I wanted to head it, but the 3 that were willing to work on it are all new (and shy) and none of them wanted to be the spokesperson.  Neither have any of them been members long enough to have participated in our last raffle quilt, 3 yrs ago.   So I’m their voice.  And their experience.

We met from 6:00 – 6:59:30 before the 7 p.m. meeting started.  I’m sorry we missed the 6:30 demos!  And we missed the name tag and show & tell drawings.  😦   (I’ll get over it.  Really.  Later.  hahaha!)

After setting a tentative schedule for how we need to work and batting around a brainstorm of ideas, we are working on one thought now.  The plan is to get a pattern set, then meet at a local quilt shop and buy the fabrics for the quilt.  We’ll then assemble kits for the members to pick up at the May meeting. I think this is too much to accomplish by the April meeting.  We’ll see how it all goes.

Today I loaded the CD for the pattern onto my EQ program and was thrilled to have that done easily.  We are considering 8″ blocks so I printed out the rotary cutting instructions to test them.  I made the block this afternoon.

Next up, I’ll have the others on the committee make one and see how it goes for them.  I’m loving where this is going! 🙂  I may have to buy more than the recommended 6 tickets this time!  😉

I picked up my Round Robin for the next month.  With all those canceled months, I’ve totally forgotten what I’ve done on the other quilts.  Then today someone that got the last quilt I worked on called asking about a fabric I had used.  Very funny ~ I’m not even sure WHAT I did back in January!  😉   This month I need to add something with triangles.  I’m thinking.

The program at guild was by a lady that owns a local quilt shop and her main focus is with Civil War Reproduction fabrics.  She has interesting CW groups at the shop and gave great history tidbits with the fabrics and quilts.

My photos aren’t great ….

This is a cot quilt she made as a replica of the cot quilts made for the soldier’s in the Civil War.  Long & narrow.  She used a 12″ block in the border and then the companion 6″ size times 4 blocks in the center of the quilt.

Refreshment time gave me a few minutes to catch up with a dear friend  🙂  and then back for the business meeting and show & tell.

I took my November LaPetité project that I quilted in January (domestic machine) and my 2nd quilt off my long arm, Scraps of Kansas, now with binding and washed & dried.

And I realized that I don’t even have quilts 1 & 3 — they are in Chicago!!  Ha on me!  Numbers 4, 5 & 6, are impatiently waiting for binding.  Do you like the hand-sewing part?  I’m OK with it… when I sit down.  Haven’t done that much lately.   (Quilt #7 comes off the frame tonight.  Civil War fabrics w/ plenty of pink… yummy!!  🙂  )

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Dessert Overload

Friday night we attended a fundraiser for the ministry where Phil served this winter.

The first item on the schedule was a Dessert Auction!  I’ve never been to one of these and this was amazing!  Several had worked and donated desserts.   THIS is what we saw as we entered the auditorium!

Twenty-four desserts spectacular!!

The tuxedo strawberries in the front of the above photo sold for $175.

In the center of this photo are Black Molten Cakes made by friends of mine that sold for $150.   To the left is Scarlet Strawberry Cream Pie which sold for $350.

Nuts About Music! (above) looked sooo yummy and sold for $300.

Most of the sales were for the whole table that pooled their money for bid money.  It was quite fun to watch!   Our table pooled together $460 and ended up buying 2 desserts.

We bought this Brownie Berry Pizza which was very rich & gooey for $260!   Then we added this bowl of homemade chocolate covered cherries and a bag of coffee for a mere $75.  I don’t know who ended up with the coffee treat!

We still had a bit of our money leftover so had pitched it to our neighboring table (mostly pastors) in an effort to ensure they could win a bid.  However, it still wasn’t enough.  Thankfully another table bought the pastors’ table a Black Forest Cheesecake!   That final bid was $575 as the last dessert sold.

Triple Berry Pie — ohsoyummy! — sold for $550.

Aren’t these parfaits cute!!  They could have been yours if you had upped the $675 bid.   🙂   The Eiffel Tower in the back left corner (and in the photo below) was a masterpiece!  The bottom held a French Chocolate & Vanilla Cheesecake but the white chocolate tower surrounding it was SPECTACULAR!   It sold for $360.

The first bid was for YOUR CHOICE off the whole table.   The winning table paid $850 for that honor.   The next to last dessert sold was Cream Puff Cake which was also made by my friends.   It sold for $875, the highest bid of the night!   🙂

All of this was in great fun.  After the auction, we enjoyed a FANTASTIC dinner of Prime Rib!   Yum!!!   The youth group served us and it was just wonderful!   When it was time for dessert, we claimed our winning bids.

Once the table was served, the extras were shared around the room.  Phil got a piece of white cake (his fav) with strawberry filling and I got a tuxedo strawberry.   Plus we had our brownie pizza and Phil was THRILLED with the homemade cherries!

JP was part of the worship team and they got to enjoy dinner too.  Assuming not much bidding would come from their table, the hostess had a yummy dessert for their table.  I saved a piece of brownie pizza for JP which he declined but the music pastor, Ken, accepted!  🙂   He said I was cool!  heehee

The theme was Black & White and Red all over…. you’ll notice the theme in the decorations.   Not having a thread of red to my name or in Phil’s tie closet, we added green to our black & whites.

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How I Celebrated….

National Quilting Day 2011!

For once, I had nothing planned for National Quilting Day so I planned quilting!  🙂

In probably a dumb idea, I started a new quilt.   In my defense, it is for my March LaPetité group so that has to count for something, right?   On the other hand, I decided to make more blocks so that with some “plain” blocks alternating with these pieced ones, I can have a larger quilt.  Because if you’ve been here, you know I don’t need anymore wall hangings!

I cut and sewed up 3 sets of parts to make the blocks.

And the honest truth is that in step with my tiredness today, I cut too many pieces of some of the parts.   Enjoy a laugh on me, if you’d like…..  :eyeroll:

This is just a mock-layout of a block.  Tomorrow I can sew the blocks together.

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City Visit continued

After seeing her work, we headed downtown.  To the Magnificent Mile to be exact.   When she was downtown for school, we had walked in a few blocks but hadn’t gotten as far as the Hancock building & Water Tower Place yet.

My uncle used to live on the 12th floor of 777 Michigan Avenue and had given me my first exposure to Chicago.  So I asked for a photo op for him.

It was sunny, low 40′, but the usual wind off the lake was breezy!!

Lunch in the food court of Water Tower Place thanks to our guide!

P & K in front of the Hancock building.  We didn’t go in or up to the top.

Many of K’s clients shop on Oak Street so she showed us the shops!

clockwise from bottom left: Phil & K, Ultimate Bride, Jimmy Choo shoes, Vera Wang shop, some other store that I don’t know the name, but it is famous and has a gorgeous building! 😉

One of K’s part time jobs after college was in this mall at 900 N Michigan.

The shots above are for my nephews.   The new ipad was released this day and here is the line around the store waiting for the 5 p.m. reveal.   🙂

After our walking downtown, we spent some time at K’s apartment.  Phil watched a movie and K & I took naps!   We headed northwest for supper at Bonefish Grill!!  None of us had ever been there but Phil heard them talking about it on WGN so this was his pick for his birthday dinner.  YUM!!

We even got desserts!  K & I shared a warm flourless brownie with a filling and chocolate sauce and raspberry sauce poured on top.  Phil had Key Lime Pie.

That was some of the best food I’ve ever had so I hope we can go back sometime.

We stopped back at K’s for our things and to get our vehicle to head home. Phil loves that he will probably never have to drive in Chicago again.  K is a wonderful tour guide & chauffeur!  ♥

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City Visit

A few weeks ago, Phil said he wanted to go to see K for his birthday.  “IF” she would have that Friday off of work, we could even show him where she works.  (Friday is her normal day off but it doesn’t always happen that she is really “off”.)  By Weds of last week, we had the all clear that she’d be off so we continued our plans.

I finished her wallhanging — totally done, bound, labeled, washed — and she said she had found a duvet cover she thought would match.   I bask in the joy of her ability to see the fabrics online, know they are good in the quilt pattern, and keeping those same colors in her mind, find the perfect duvet cover!   🙂  I love this part of the apple falling close to the tree.  🙂

Here is the quilt on the wall.  LOVE how the turquoise canopy brings out the blues in the flying geese border.  🙂

This is the view from her front door hallway.  It is feeling more & more homey all the time.   After we went home, she added her new green nightstand to the room, too.

We headed to find her work —

And passed Saint Philip School!  LOL!!

My favorite amazing area is this row of about 7 pressers.  They have this high-end pressing equipment but are in here like sardines.  They all smile when K tells them we are her parents.  🙂

She found those throughout the plant that work for her in the wedding department and gave special introductions to them.  Her specific presser, the one packing veils for preservation, the receptionist.


Then we headed downtown… more later.   🙂

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I’ve not had a sore throat (much, just 2 hrs worth) today.

I finished one quilt and barely started another.  A long struggle to piece the backing.  I do not like getting backings ready.  This fabric had been saved for this quilt.  I don’t know why it wasn’t enough!

Phil replaced the damaged rails on my long-arm today with the new ones that came last week via a different carrier.  It made me nervous.  He wasn’t at all.  It wasn’t hard for him.  Yeah!!

I drew more on a quilt design.  Now need to draw out 2 other options.  After I tape more graph paper together.  *sigh*

I made K bored while I had my bluetooth in to talk to her and basted a quilt at the same time.  Sorry!

I can’t guess time today.

It was sunny!   🙂

The camera is downstairs.  I forgot to take photos of the previous quilt.  The Chicago trip photos are not on the computer yet.

I have a long to-do list for tomorrow.

I got an upset stomach watching some video from Japan.  How awful!

Nina found the place where Molly used to lay. This is my view from my newly cleaned studio window.

Those are my thoughts.  What’s on your mind?

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You saw quilt 1.

Here is quilt 2.  It is about 70 x 80″ and I quilted it HEAVY!

Not my colors at all, but JP likes it so I tried not to quilt anything too flowery.


The spot for quilt #3 was reserved for K’s wallhanging in the bright colors.  We have plans to see her soon so I wanted it all done and ready.

It will look much nicer on her wall!  🙂

Quilt #4 is started and is one of my LaPetité wallhangings so not very big.   I had to force myself to stop working on it so I have something to show when my gf comes over tonight to see.

I can’t stand being gone now for the mundane like grocery shopping …. and last night felt like a toddler not wanting to go to bed.  The night before JP asked if I wanted a cot down there.    🙂

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A Peek at Sewing Class

Last week was class 1 of Beginning Sewing Class and I had three 9 year old girls for class.  Another student will join us for the following weeks.

I had out 3 of my black Singers to use.  And you can see in the corner, a selection of fabrics they got to use for our project.

I think it looked quite fun in the living room and the girls were pretty full of smiles to see the machines.  (So were my small group ladies the night before!)  One student admitted to being scared.  None of them had ever used a sewing machine.   One had been taught to hand-sew by her dad! 🙂  (not like our house!)

I went over the parts of the sewing machines and they found the various places on the machine where they were sitting.  I gave them a path drawn on paper and they sewed along the path without thread.  The first part was a square that worked its way to the center so lots of practice with raising & lowering the needle, the presser foot, and pivoting the paper.   The first side was shakey, the next side went better, and then the lightbulbs went on!  🙂   The second half of the paper was for following the line with the edge of the presser foot.  It was fun!!  They enjoyed it much more than I did in 7th grade Home Ec. when I wanted fabric to sew.

Our project for the day was making a pillow.  I showed them the fabric choices, some batik prints leftover from K’s school projects.   One at a time they came to the cutting area, traced around my 12 1/2″ ruler, and then cut out their pillow front & back with scissors.  They repinned for sewing and of course, all of a sudden, all 3 were ready for thread!  I threaded all the machines, one incorrectly I think, and away they went!  They had to do a few stitches in reverse at the start & stop of the opening and pivot at all the corners.  Fun & they did it!!!  🙂

Then they trimmed the corners as I showed them, turned the pillows right side out, and stuffed them.  While the first one was turning her pillow, another student asked if I had the stuff to put inside.  The first student beamed, “Yes, I see it over here.”   So exciting  — I had bought stuffing!!  🙂  And their delight at pulling out bits from the bag.   Glee!!!

After getting enough stuffing inside, I showed them how to hand sew the opening closed.  I showed a hidden stitch with a bite into one fold, then slide into the opposite side’s fold.  After they got going, I checked on one student.  She said the beginning part (that I did) wasn’t right, she had switched to a whip stitch on the outside of the fabric.   I think dad won in that lesson.  So funny!!

I reviewed our next 2 projects, what they need to bring for the next class, and we measured their waists so I bought the right sized skirt pattern on sale last weekend.   And it was time to head home!  I was THRILLED they finished their pillows in the class time AND I got to go over the next projects.  They are excited.

As 2 waited for the ride home, they asked if I had more papers to stitch on. Thankfully, yes!  They were delighted to try a different machine and stitch again.

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My new HQ Fusion 24 long-arm machine!!

Or the new baby of the family.    😉

My set-up man came on Wednesday morning.  He was here from 9:15 – 12:50 with a bit of lunch break in there at noon.  So, a good 3 hours to set it all up from the 9 boxes it arrived in!   Phil was in & out helping with the frame & table and helping his Dad get the manure tank filled outside.  (There is not a good way to say that… FIL was hauling manure.  He can’t fill the tank/hook up the pump & pipes so Phil keeps an ear out for FIL to come pulling back in the lane needing a new load.)

the first step... build the 12' table

I had an OVER-FULL week but in my mind gave myself Wednesday afternoon to play.  🙂   First off, get the leaders on.   No good photos so I head upstairs and start the DVD.  Pause. Run downstairs to do the next step.  Upstairs to see the next part.  Downstairs to complete it.

By this time, I decided the ease of use of the upstairs TV was not worth this running up & down!!  So then I spent the next hour going back & forth to my sewing room.  Really, I would like HQ to give me step-by-step photos!!  Some parts of the quilt pin wrong side to right side of the leader and others are right side to wrong side and then another is right side to right side!  Ack!!  I’m sure I’ll get it down but for the first time…. whew!!

I finally had my quilt loaded, the machine threaded (need better photos of that too!!), the bobbin filled & inserted, the tension set,  and I QUILTED!!!  For about 25 minutes…. and K called and I was reminded I needed supper as the small group ladies were due in an hour!!  Very funny!!!!  My studio needs a clock and a trash can!

I didn’t have much time on Thursday but about 30 mins after lunch in which I called my dealer with questions.   Seems that the monitor has been upgraded recently but not the manual or my dealers’ knowledge so I was flying by the seat of my pants!!  However, after Thursday’s afternoon class (that I taught here), a snack & quick nap, then supper, I had a bit of time to quilt.  🙂


Just fantastic!!

How wonderful to have a large area to quilt in without having to CONSTANTLY readjust the quilt like I did when quilting on my domestic machine.  Plus I don’t have to hold the whole quilt or baste it.  Yippeee!!!

Thursday evening I finished my first quilt!  🙂  I had only done a meandering freehand pattern across it to get familiar with the whole machine.  However, I needed a flourish on it so added a feathered heart in the bottom corner.   🙂  It isn’t perfect but it is just a quilt for me and I love it!

Phil has had a yucky cold (was just getting something Weds night) so tonight was the first night he came to my studio much while I was working.  JP stops in often to see me.   K is glad that now that she & JP aren’t my students anymore, I have time to pursue my quilting and teaching more.     🙂 🙂  What sweet music from my daughter!!

I have the second quilt on the frame (worked on loading it Friday right after lunch and then in the evening)  and have a bit to go on quilting that.  I am doing a much tighter freehand pattern (not a meander) and it is a larger quilt.  Plus it has 2 borders that I’m quilting with special designs.   I just started on it this afternoon so I suppose I’ve put in 4 hrs or so on it.

So much to learn but SEW FUN!!!

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