Sunday, July 31, 2011

Sumer Sampler Series = Potato Chips

Turns out you can't eat/make just one...

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Minnesota Block: My First Paper Pieced Project!

Here it is!  I had so much fun making this!  Thanks Lee!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Paper piecing, Summer Sampler Series, and a Surprise!

First of all, I got such a wonderful surprise in the mail yesterday!  The above picture was taken at this year's Sisters Quilt Show in Sisters Oregon., and mailed to me!!  It's from last year's winner of their quilt block contest.  The rules have changed this year, but last year, one winner was best of show, and 24 others were picked as "teacher's choice" awards, and the top winner got all of those blacks to make a quilt from, as well as $50.  The rest of the blocks were sent to randomly chosen contest participants.  Long story short, the winner, Ruth Newell, of Michigan, sent me a wonderful handmade pin as a thank you gift (so generous, and totally unexpected).  Imagine my surprise when I got this picture of hers of her finished quilt that she entered into the Sisters show of all of our blocks in a finished quilt!!  WOW!  Great job Ruth!!

Here's the block I entered last year:

This year, they picked the top 6 and all of the blocks were divided up and sent to them.  I did not make the cut, but got to see the winners (on the Internet), and WOW what a wonderful job they all did!

Next, I was able to catch up on my blog reading today, and was stopped in my tracks by the lovely Minnesota block that Lee of Freshly Pieced Blog had on there today.  One of my favorite parts of the quilt blog-o-sphere is the quilt alongs, but I've resisted joining in this summer because I just don't have the time with my kids home 24/7.  This block, though, caught my attention since it's so pretty and since it uses paper piecing, a technique I've been really wanting to learn / try for some time now.  Lee's directions are clear as a bell, even her computer direction...  I decided that I want to make it.

But the clincher was visiting with Marlene at Kissed Quilts, who lives about 45 minutes away from me.  I had some rare summer kid-free time, and headed over there for a trip to some fabric stores and to see Marlene's studio (she has a long arm quilting and pattern business).  She just happened to have some paper piecing templates laying around, and helped me in person understand how to do it!  Thanks Marlene!  I'm not superstitious, but if this isn't a "sign", then I don't know what is LOL!!  With Lee's computer help, I just now  printed out the templates, and hope to get a block made soon!

Finally, I have a stack of Kindle covers for my Etsy shop all ready to sew up.  I hope you all have a productive week-end as well!!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Creative Ammunition

It's funny how creative ideas are born.  Sometimes it's something so simple and random... I only have be open to the ideas to see them.  I was playing with some lace and trim that I got from a local thrift store recently (for the blue and lace postcard swap).  I picked up my boys' Nerf darts off the floor (for the millionth time), and noticed they were the perfect match to one of the colored bindings that I had.  Hmmm... I'm thinking "Nerf Quilt", before my boys get much older!

BTW, I got all of this for $5!!  My favorite is the orange ric-rac!  I hope to use the binding for postcards, and who knows with the lace.  Any suggestions?

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

WIP Wed: Molecule quilt back (and the garden)

This week, I decided to get the back all done on my molecule quilt.  Here's the front again:

Here's the just-finished back:

It's not real pretty, but it's done, and I was able to use all fabric that was used in the front, so I didn't have to buy any additional fabric (yea!).

I was hoping to get some more Kindle covers made for my Etsy store, but ran out of the interfacing I use, and the store in town was out.  The next closest store that carries it is over an hour away, but I finally was able to make it over there (combined with other errands) to buy more.  Maybe this week?

Of course the garden is growing.  Check out this tomato plant!!  Amazing!

Besides okra, onions and garlic are all time vegetable garden favorites of mine.  I like them all, but one of the best things about onions, garlic, (as well as potatoes too) at least here in Oregon, is that they can stay in the ground pretty much until you need them (or until hard freezes start).  They store well, once they're dug up too.  Along with winter squash, I can't think of much else that keeps as well without any refrigeration or preservation.  The flavor they add to dishes is wonderful.  That said, it's not surprising that they're found in so many cuisines from around the world.  And at least here, onions, garlic and squash are incredibly easy to grow, nutritious, and attract few pests!  We tried dried beans one year, and ended up with a bug infestation in the pantry that was quite ugly, not to mention the work and food thrown away :-O. Never store home-grown dried beans in open containers in the pantry!!  We applied that lesson, learned long ago, to even our onions, garlic and squash... they stay out in our garage until we need them!

As usual, I'm linking up to Lee's Freshly Pieced blog's WIP Wed.  Come join us there, and tell us what you're working on!  I'd love to hear how your garden is growing too, or what you'll be growing next year!!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Vintage Bed Sheets Project 2: Postcards!

I just finished up some postcards that I'm making for a swap!  I originally had fabric and a plan all figured out, and had even started cutting and sewing, but the curtains that are now finished left me with a few scraps laying around and suddenly I decided they'd be fun to use instead.  The theme is "boxer shorts (I'll show you mine if you show me yours)".  There's 4 of us in a groups, so we only have to make 3 to send off (and get 3 back).  I like to make one to keep though.  It's my second swap, and getting the first round was so much fun!  The first round was "blue and lace".  Here's the cards from that swap (mine is the top right):
Here's the finished curtains!

And I can't seem to post anything here without a garden related photo!  Enjoy!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

WIP Wed: Looney Tunes Vintage Sheet Curtains

For the last few weeks, I've been working on these curtains for my son's room, after we removed the bi-fold doors on his bedroom closet.  I'm almost done with them, just need to mark and sew a hem line! 

I LOVE the way they turned out, and the funny thing is that I originally was just going to make them plain, but the sheets weren't wide enough for the closet, so I had to add a border.  Now I'm so glad that my original plan didn't work out!!  I'm tempted to make a quilt using the same theme, and even saw these same vintage sheets on eBay yesterday. Hmmm...

It's my first vintage sheet project, and it really wasn't bad working with the poly / cotton blend.  The fact that they were thin from wear made them cooler to deal with too!

"Our" baby quail are growing fast!  I took this pictures over the week-end, and already they're flying!!  It's been incredibly fun to watch this "WIP"!
Finally, our garden is progressing very nicely!  We're eating zucchini now, and have tons of green tomatoes, baby corn, and peppers.  The cucumbers and beans have flowers and the winter squash and okra continue to grow!  Onions and garlic are turning brown, so it won't be long before we can dig these too!

As usual, I'm linking up with Lee's WIP Wed.  Come join the fun over there!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A Sign of Things to Come (veggies and vintage sheets)

I love the sight of this in our garden...
We will eat our first zucchini of the year in the next day or two!
Our shade cloth experiment is going nicely...

The only sewing going on lately is some "closet curtains" that I'm making for my oldest son.  We spent the better part of a day or 2 cleaning out his room, rearranging furniture and removing the bi-fold closet doors that I hate and that take up so much room.  I cut up some really fun vintage sheets that I had and I can't wait to show you what I'm planning with them. 
My boys have been busy too...
These tiny quail chicks are having the hardest time getting up over the street curb.  They're incredibly cute!  In a few days I'm sure they won't get so stuck!

But lately I've been spending time just about each day at this place...  I feel so lucky to have this in our community!!   How's your summer going?

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Fabric postcard fun!

I just thought I'd share some fabric postcards that I made for family and friends whom we visited on our recent trip.  I also made a few birthday postcards, but forgot to take pictures of them before mailing them off today!

The produce starting to come out of our garden is very "spring" in nature, but it's rolling in!  My husband just put up a shade cloth for the lettuce and radishes to try to extend the season.  It's a first go of shade cloth for us.  I'll let you know how it turns out!

I hope you all had a great 4th of July.  We are still recovering.  The days are so long now that yesterday the local rooster woke me up at 4:40am (first light), then our city fireworks didn't start until 10pm (that's when it's dark).  Despite the frequent sleep deprivation, I love summer, spending time at the pool, eating fresh ripe berries and produce, going barefoot and being free of the school schedule.  I still manage to get in sewing from time to time as well, and this new postcard addiction is a perfect way to "quilt" when it's hot!