Saturday, March 29, 2008

Hella Pink!

Working away at the Hella (or Hecka) Pink quilt. Here is the layout my husband helped me select. My photo skills are lacking, but you get the idea, yah?

Then I tried Lisa Boyer's trick and made Hecka Black and White. Still looks okay I think. I put the lighter blocks in the center, again as Lisa suggested:
Ok, and check this out. This is Hella Trippy: impressionist quilt. No need to match those seams! Thanks to my photo editor software.

And these little blocks are the not hella pink enough:

They did not make the cut. Benchwarmers. UFO's. Didn't play well with others. Loners. Voted off the island. Auf'd. Fired. (I could do this all day!)

Hey Designers! Gather round. I have some news. (Gosh I love Tim Gunn.)
What do youz guys suggest for a Fierce Border for this quilt o' mine. I am thinking narrow stripe, then sawtooth half-square triangles, just like the pattern calls for. Dang, I am clever.

Has anyone seen a good pink-a-licious stripe that would be good for this?? I have several stripeys, but none that seem to want to be in this quilt. Hook me up. Seriously.

ok, I am putting this one away for the night, and moving on to THE DRESS! woo hoo!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Spring Break!!


Easter was so much fun and food! The weather was so nice, we moved the party onto the back patio.

This is me, all Betty Crocker-like in a hand made apron my husband got for me for Valentine's Day.

My unbound quilts make good places to lie down and recover from chocolate bunny comas:

That's my kid on the left, the one on the right is a stunt double.

On Monday, we went to Lake Tahoe with the kids and a few extra stow-aways. Always an adventure in the testosterone zone. Snow, buffet lines, whipping wind, Red Hut Waffle Shop, scary movies, igloo building, texting girls, building fires (did you know peanut butter is an excellent accelerant? Did you know that excellent accelerant is more fun to say than to type?) and being slug lazy all figured in to our plans on this getaway.

My younger son on the left. Igloo building commences on the shore:

Dad acts as building inspector:

My oldest on the right, with another extra, on the way to the Casinos to meet some girls (God, give me strength!)

I brought quilting projects to the cabin, of course. We needed some estrogen input. I put binding on the Ladybug Parade, and on the table topper I made last week. I also shopped for more pink fabric, and cut out the patches for 12 more pinwheels for the Hella Pink quilt. Awesome finds! And, I did some handwork, English paper piecing on a patriotic stars mini quilt. Very nice retreat indeed. We returned on Thursday.

Today, final weekday of Spring Break, we went to the Jelly Belly factory, about a half hour drive from here. We being my youngest son Brian, my bro-in-law, another relation (step-aunt-in-law?) and her 5 y.o. daughter.

Rows of pink! Reminds me of a quilt I know. . . I just read the article in APQ about getting inspired by photos of your surroundings. I took a lot of pictures of rows of Jelly Bellies, so I think some fun quilts are about to burst forth. . .

Mr. Jelly Belly himself!

We rode that sugar high, boy!

And, there was an added bonus -- it was STICKER PALOOZA with Mrs. Grossman stickers there and guess what? I met Mrs. Grossman and she signed my sticker how to book! She said we are like "two peas in a pod" because we both love stickers. She was so sweet. Do you remember when these first came out? The heart, the bear, the duck?? I was crazy for these from High School on. The sticker factory and outlet are also near to where I live. Jealous much? (well, I have to pay ginormous property taxes next week, so don't be too jealous if you are out of state - we pay a hefty price to be close to sticker and sticky paradise)

I am also happy to report that I resolved my issue with my HK sewing machine (see earlier post)- and the real LuLu is on her way here, this time from Mississippi - still a southern belle! and the impostor is going to reform school - My friend who is in need of a machine for her and her daughter will provide the rogue a good home and proper upbringing. I am throwing in some quilting lessons to sweeten the pot. (*note, it is not a bad machine, just not the one I wanted)

I found a great blog that you all probably already know about. It is Busy Little Quilter, and she wants to know about how we all store, sort and hopefully use, our scraps. So here is a picture of some of my more artful scrap storage. Hey, the picture on the right is kinda like the jelly belly factory's trays of colorful beans!!

oh, wait, that's my trash bin!

How bout visiting her blog and adding your two scraps?

Wishing you miles of endless possibilities and a great gooey sugar high!! Kristin

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

What I attacked the UPS man for. . .Photos of the Quilts are Up!

p.s. I updated Monday's post with pictures of my awesomely quilted (by Laura Heine) quilts, so check that out below.

Sorry, UPS Guy!

Yesterday, I stopped by my LQS, which is dangerously a mere one block from my office. I just needed some brown fabric to bind the table topper. BUT while I was there, the UPS guy came in with a delivery for Susie, and it was wrapped in CLEAR plastic, so I saw the contents, and flipped my lid. This is what I nearly tackled him for:

Although it is quite quiltilicious, . . .

It's gonna be a dress. tee hee
The fabric is bubbles and blooms by Beverlyann Stillwell, in case you are wondering. SHOOT. I just read the pattern (yah, I know!) and I need more of the red fabric. I bought enough of the main fabric, but short on the red for the contrast. Oh great. Do you think I can sneak in and out of the store without anything else jumping in my bag??? yah, that would be a first.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Stash busting, WIPs, Sad Goodbye, No Hello Kitty

******UPDATED POST WITH PICTURES!!!!!!!!*************

Hope you all had a Happy St. Pat's. I have had a fill of corned beef and cabbage, and of my in-laws. ha ha. We had a lovely dinner, actually, cooked by my husband, the chef of the manor. Yum.

My m-i-l is going through cancer treatments, bleck, and it was good to have her over after a biopsy surgery she had on Friday. She is going to be fine, but it is still a big ol' pile o' crud she has to deal with.

anyway, I have not posted in a bit because I have been busy, and I have been crabby. I am better now, don't be afraid.

On the up side, I had a fun-filled week with my nephew, aka, the Hurricane.
We pal'd around all week, doing cool kid things, like feeding ducks,
bowling, watching trains at the depo, going to baseball games, lacrosse games, and the Lawrence Hall of Science at UC Berkeley. He is so dang smart, it was fun having him get his noodle filled up with science stuff. He had a squillion questions, and luckily I had all the answers cuz I can read the little boards really fast. Whew! He even quilted and sewed with me. He was like a caffeinated squirrel, but I missed him the second he left.

Ok, so here's a downer from the down side of my week:

My Hello Kitty sewing machine is a bust! I wanted this one, like Mimi, so I found one on ebay, bid on it, won it, and the sender was excruciatingly slow in even corresponding with me. A month later, I was told it was on its way, and then it arrived! Excitement and anticipation - - - dashed on the rocks when I opened the brown paper and and it was this one! the wrong one! she had a picture of the right one on ebay, yet sent the other one. I am not a happy camper, going through the whole dispute thing with paypal to get her to give me a refund. yuck. (don't get me wrong, the machine I got is also cute but it is CHERRY-less. Hello?? Kitty! I needs me some cherries.

I was also little Miss Crabby Pants the last couple of days because of THAT issue, plus customer service dolts, (small and irritating) issues with my family, my back "went out", yada yada. . . SOOOOO imagine my SHEER AND UTTER DELIGHT when I got to work today and found all 3 of the quilt tops I sent to the fabulous and uber-talented Laura Heine just a couple of weeks ago had come back all quiltilicious and perfect!! I am so flippin' excited I could jump and flip (watch the back!). I will get some snaps of the quilting tomorrow and fill in the blanks with photos.

Quilt one is a turtle quilt, cuz of the border fabric I stuck on my scrappy little Irish Chain. The turtles she quilted are outrageous, and Laura says to watch her newsletter because she is designing a turtle quilt because she learned how to do turtles just for my little ol' quilt.

Quilt two is a ladybug quilt from a Laura Nownes, Diana McClun pattern, Ladybug Parade, which Laura quilted antennae, spirally loopy patterns in the wings, flowers and vines all over. I am so happy.


and the third, Circles one is a Freddy Moran class I took, Freddy dot com. I asked for just a simple quilting here, and it is still stunning, with yellow swirlies. (kind of like Lisa's funky chicken heads?)

Aren't they all spectacularly quilted?? big sigh. All is right with the world!

AND, wouldya like to see the dang-cute little carrots I made? they still need some "hair" (green frond-tops, whatever you call 'em)

How 'bout 2 blocks towards the shop hop quilt? woo hoo!

And this sophisticated, yet rascally little table-topper for my brother-in-law, who really loves this fabric:

I have been reading alot of blogs dedicated to the concept of "stash busting" and I am all for that, considering that I have spilled out of the studio and into the spare bathroom bathtub as a place to store my fabric! One of the most fun sites I found on the subject is this one. I spent like a week on her website, blog, and then clicking on links she has, so make sure you get a cup of tea, and settle in when you go over there. You may be there a spell.

I have decided to add 2 great ways to reduce that stash and be happy.

1. invite a newbie quilter over and let her "shop" from fabrics you are no longer crazy about, and help her make a quilt. My friend Erin came over on Sunday (she is the one I helped with the auction quiltlet), and we found the perfect pattern and fabric for a baby quilt she wants to make as a gift. I am helping her with the construction. In exchange, she is going to hand stitch my binding on my quilts - she is great at this! what a win-win!

2. clothing! I was a pattern sewer before I was a quilter, and clothing takes a lot of fabric. I went to Wal-Mart today and found choice patterns for under $3 a piece, and I am going to make summery tops and dresses from some of my big chunks of fabric.

March of the Tools!!

Our final topic of the post, is my addition to the March of the Tools. This oh-so-humble ruler is da bomb! I have all kinds of rulers, like over 20. But this one is my new favorite. It has the clearest, thinnest markings evah. It is frosted, like donuts, only not, and this makes it easy to see on light and dark fabrics, as shown oh so dramatically in this picture. You must try this one, even if you have 22 rulers already.

What is your favorite tool?
do tell!

I feel much better and back to my quiltilicious self. I will try to get pictures of the quilts up tomorrow. I do so LOVE them. I was kind of afraid to send them out, because I usually do my own quilting, but I had a backlog, and I had to learn to let go. Success! g'nite, Kristin

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Shop Hop results!

I Loved the March Madness Shop Hop! I made it to 16 of 20 shops. Almost all were new to me. Each one had such a different personality. I made some new favorites, found a great place to drop off one of my quilt tops for quilting - I will post about that once I get the quilt, and of course, I blew all of my loot gathering up wonderful fabrics, notions, tools and patterns. Also I met Mar of the blog Pincushion Diaries. I hope we get to do a shop hop together soon!! What more could a girl ask for?

Oh, and I have been productive! I have already completed a quilt top, all from finds from my trip. I got a charm pack of Mary Engelbreit squares here, (one of my new faves!!) and some perfect just barely off-white for the sashing at a store in San Jose (that has no website), and the blue field with cherries for the posts here, and then the center panel here (which is funny because I had already cut and sewn the charm squares, the sashing and posts before I even bought the center panel, yet I "made it work" - as he would say). It is now 50 inches square,

but I bought a couple of more fabrics from Cloth Carousel in Winters (no website either!) that I thought I would use for borders, but now I am not sure I want borders, I may just use them for backing. . . what do you think? would you put any or all of these as borders or not??

I have a house guest this week. My adorable 7 and three-quarters years old nephew is visiting from Arizona. We are having so much fun. He is even sewing and helping me quilt. I don't think I will get a lot done this week, but I will have fun doing it! He thinks I am a great quilter - loves to sit on my lap while I "draw" flowers all over the quilt with the thread. He controls the auto. thread cutter when I say, "now" But he also thinks I am a great singer, so one can't really trust his endorsement of my quilting skills. My new LuLu machine is due to arrive tomorrow! yippee skippee, so I am looking forward to letting him try that one out. More later, but now I have a date with a certain small fry and a radio-controlled car that is a replica of my real car! see ya!

Friday, March 7, 2008

Hello and Happy Saturday morning! I have been participating in our local area SHOP HOP the last couple of days. Can anyone identify the shop that is pictured above??


Okay, it's a trick question - this is the stuff I bought on DAY ONE!! All laid out nicely on my cutting table, all innocent-like. The fabric is saying, "what? how did I get here?" and "I look so cute, why do you want to cut me up into bits?" and a lot of "You're not going to ufo me are you?" ah, boy, tough questions all.

Here is the pink section of my new store.

And, welcome to the red and white and blue and yellow sections:

SWEET treats with no caloric value for my "birthday celebration" quilt. Actually all of the fabrics are for WIP so I don't feel too guilty.. Well and also because I haven't received the credit card statement yet.

Why is it that I cannot resist Alexander Henry floral prints???? This is going to be a top for me from an Amy Butler pattern. Oh yeah baby. some strappy yellow sandals would seal that deal nicely.

The shop hop is great fun, at each stop hoppers receive a block for the shop hop quilt. Each store has interpreted the pattern in its own way. Here is the quilt from the fabulous Sew Ewe Quilt in Brentwood, which is ginormous, btw. You know I am digging the pink. It kindof looks like a colorized black and white picture, or Ted Turner movie colorized. or a photo shop trick.

However thisis not the quilt I will make. I LOVED the one at Stitches in Time in Livermore, 'cept they won't let anyone photo it cuz they want to sell the pattern - I bought the pattern but the picture is pretty fuzzy on it, and I am thinking they don't want me scanning it anyhoo. SO, you must visualize with me, that there is a center medallion with a beehive applique, like their logo, then surrounded with sawtooth border in primary/white, then thin border, then the shop hop blocks with thin sashing of primary colors, then a dark floral. It is SO quiltilicious!! I spoke to the creator of the quilt who is fabulously talented. Leslie. Awesome. I think that was my favorite store. I spent the most scrilla there, that's for sure.

They also had the best freebie. It was a pattern and the materials for this pincushion, which I made when I got home Thursday night. Love it!! My french knots are lame. they don't deserve to be called French, they are more like Belgian, or Calais knots - kinda French but not really. (geography/history humor)

Here are the other freebies:

Nice assortment of fabric, candy, tools, patterns, candy, water bottles, candy, notepads and candy!

Hey from this shot out of my car window on the way to one of the shops, can you tell where I live? What is all of this snow doing here?
OOPS. Another trick. These are acres and acres of almond trees in bloom!!! the fragrance was intoxicating as I whizzed past at 60 mph to get to my next store. This is on Highway 120 which leads into Yosemite. I was on my way to Oakdale to the Quilter's Cabin. Notice my door is locked for safety.

Here is a final look at the haul, before I start cutting and shaping this into fun projects!!

next post I will talk about Day 2 and I will add hyperlinks!!! I am officially too tired to link.
Yes, there is much more to tell. Leave a comment if you participated in the No. Cal. March Madness Shop Hop. I would love to hear what you thought and see what you bought!!


Monday, March 3, 2008

good monday morning!

Had a great WIP weekend. Almost as productive as amandajean, but not quite. ok, not even close. But this is not a competitive sport, right?
I made one more block on my Dad's quilt, (see below) but then I got bored with teal, so:

I did some fun stuff, like turned a $2.99 placemat into a purse
And I worked on this quilt, which I call "Hella Pink" because my son blurted that out when he saw the collection of fabrics I had for it! As in, "those aren't just pink, they are 'hella pink!'"The design is a simple pinwheel block - the quilt pattern is from "Fabric Shopping with Alex Anderson" In her book, it is a monochromatic yellow. I wanted pinks. A wee bit of estrogen in my testosterone-laced world. I have collected the fabrics for a few years - every time we are in another town, on vacation or business travel, I pick up a bit of pink for it. I have not repeated any fabrics yet, and I have 21 of the 42 blocks done. I am going to try to not repeat any in the entire body of the quilt. The border is going to be half-square triangles, set in a sawtooth design, separated by a stripedy narrow border. For the half-squares, I may use the fabrics from the body of the quilt.It's kinda crazy, but the more blocks I make, the more I like it.
I also got a wild hare and made some yellow and blue half-square triangles by using some pre-printed triangle paper. Have you tried it? It's wicked fun. I had nothing in mind to do with these triangles, but for some reason, last night at about 10:30 i decided to make this tulip thing. The center block is 11.5" and now I think it's a bit too large but who knows what I may or may not do to it. . . into the ufo pile? maybe I will make it into an Easter table runner? I dunno. It may have to wait until tonight's crazed inspiration strikes. I work better in the morning, but I do quirky thinking at night. Not that a tulip is so quirky, but ya know what I mean? I did also start drafting a pattern for a tree that appeared to me in a semi-dream, semi-awake moment. It's kinda Jane Sassaman-esque maybe, but with more geometric shapes than organic. I started planning it but who knows if it will get past my sketchbook and become a quilt. Many, many ideas have never escaped the sketching phase. mwa ha ha. locked up tight.
Alright, so here is a bummer. I know, it's Monday, who needs a bummer? Well, I just have to share because I know you will understand, and I also get to throw out a shameless plea for sympathy -- the flower garden quilt I helped make for the school auction (see previous posts) did not do so well.
I have made several quilts over the last 5 years for this school - each one sold for over $500 with the highest being $1200. Well, this one only fetched $125 and the person who bought it was my friend who helped make it!! I am so upset. (not that she won it - I am happy about that) It's just that so much work went into this and I thought for sure it would go for more. Part of the problem was that in the program it was described as a table runner, with no mention that it was handmade and that it was quilted. It also was displayed folded up on a table. ARGH! I wish I had been there - I would have grabbed the mike and started talking about it, and taken it around to each table to show it off. ok, now I will be accepting blog hugs.
the only cure is retail therapy. I went to etsy and bought some cool jewelry. got on ebay and bought some other stuff. got some espadrilles at smartbargains, got on a swimwear site and . . . nope, couldn't pull that trigger! ha ha.
off to work now. thanks for playing along, we have some lovely parting gifts.