Thursday, July 25, 2013

Setbacks and Successes

As a kid, I used to enjoy playing the Chutes and Ladders® game. Of course, the best part was when you could zip ahead of your competition when you landed on a space with a ladder and could climb ahead quickly. Not so much fun when you came to one of the slides and took a quick tumble. As I recall, there was one seriously steep chute right at the very end of the game board. As in life, the ups and downs are all part of the process!

Sometimes the projects in the quilting studio can seem just like that game. Some projects just seem to put themselves together and others are setback specialists. And of course other things outside the sewing room come up that keep the best laid quilty plans from being fulfilled (like a crashed computer hard drive!)

Earlier this summer, I started out with a set of quilty goals. Let's see where things stand, shall we?

For starters, there's this pretty triangle thing.

Um. I still think it's pretty, but it doesn't look very much different now than it did at the beginning of the summer. Definitely a setback.

What about this hand-pieced hexie project?

I'm happy to report that this one has progressed from blocks into a quilt top. I just need to get it basted and I can start quilting it. Success!

(Admittedly, it's not a great picture, but it really is pretty!)
And it's even cute from the back!

That project from Sew Sweet, the book by the Swirly Girls. . .

It's coming along. The top is all done; actually that got done really quickly. Quilting remains on the to-do list. Semi Success!

The fat quarter project for my own bedroom.

Hey, the fat quarters were packed in with several projects for a quilty weekend to a friend's camp a couple weeks ago. They came with me, I didn't say I touched them, did I? *A-hem!* Setback.

What about those piles and piles of swapped half-square triangles, (why do I volunteer for such things!?)

Actually, one of the two quilts that will eventually emerge from the box of half-square triangles is nearly done. The binding is almost completely secured! Both quilts will be donated to a good quilty cause. Success!

Q101 lessons are continuing. Success!

And although I haven't shown you many details from the new book, ScrapTherapy, Scraps Plus One!, I am scheduled to teach several projects from the book later this summer and into the fall and winter months. You simply have to look me up and take a class when I'm in the neighborhood! Success!

And I'm nearly done with a new pattern that features some beautiful Hoffman prints from a line called Bohemia and Modern Scrapbook by Fringe Studio®! The fabric has hummingbirds all over it!! Love it! Just a few more quilting stitches and the quilt will be done and the pattern will be off to the printer. A better picture will be coming when it's done. Watch for more details here and at your favorite local quilt shop! Success!

Eh well. Some successes and some set backs. But all is well. . . summer isn't nearly over yet! *wink!*

What about you? I hope your summer is filled with more successes than setbacks, but I have to admit, the setbacks make the successes even more sweet!

Happy Stitching!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

A Sun Hat for You!

A few weeks ago, a posting on the CraftStylish blog caught my interest. The project was a step-by-step tutorial to make a simple summer sun hat.

Normally I'm not all that excited about garment sewing. But a hat is  . . . well, it's a hat! And the instructions are simple and free. How can you go wrong?

First, I printed out the instructions from the CraftStylish Blog, and selected two fabrics from my stash that were fun together.

Next I followed the instructions, took some measurements and made my paper pattern.

Then, cut the fabric . . . .

. . . and started sewing. One piece to another.

Once all the pieces were sewn, I turned the hat right-side out and edge stitched along the brim.

How fun is that? I'm ready for the beach!

I liked that you start with your measurements, then build the pattern. Rather than measure and try to match the pattern to the measurement.

Happy Stitching!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Postcards from Quilty Travels

Some of you may know that my summer started with a fairly hectic travel schedule. So far, during July, I've been staying close to home, working on some catch-up paperwork, and creating some fun new stuff in the sewing studio.

I feel really fortunate to have the opportunity to interact with so many fun people who enjoy quilting as much as I do.

Here's a photo journal of some of my June travel highlights.

In Williamson, New York, the quilters at Reverse Curves Quilt Guild invited me to lead a workshop to make the Runaway Thread Quilt from the book ScrapTherapy, Cut the Scraps!

Once the blocks are complete, the best part is laying it all out and previewing the quilt-to-be!

During Show-and-Tell, this near-complete version of Stained Glass (from ScrapTherapy, Scraps Plus One!) had a big moment. Lovely!

Then it was on to Baltimore. Did they know I was coming? This is birdland . . . I love birds!

It was a business meeting, after all, so this little reminder, kept me on track . . . sort of.

The ground cover in the nearby plant beds contained tons of sunny yellow flowers.

When the meetings were done, it was time to do some sight-seeing at the amazing American Visionary Art Museum.

Before we even got inside, there were treasures to see on the property surrounding the museum. This huge mosaic blue bird was set on top of a concrete barrier wall. That's me peeking over the wall!

Even the sidewalks included make-shift art full of expression!

Brenda Miller from Among Brenda's Quilts, and her husband Rob (not pictured) as well as Janice Pope of Anything But Boring (also not pictured) were my companions for the night on the town. After the museum, we headed to Baltimore's Inner Harbor, for a delicious dinner and a ride on the sea taxi!

This crazy bird sculpture caught my eye. (Of course!)

Once back in New York State, for a complete change in scenery, I headed into the Adirondacks to teach three workshops at Adirondack Quilt Camp in Long Lake, NY. Our cabin over looked this path leading to the lake.

At the end of the path, the lake and boats await mid-summer fun.

Between classes, Melonie, my cabin-mate, found a few quiet moments for knitting . . .

Me, too!

The Common Sense quilt was one of the workshops I led. Everyone finished a block! Wonderful!

At the end of the camp, participants are invited to show the projects from the prior year. Last year, I led a workshop to construct In the North Woods, another pattern from the book ScrapTherapy, Cut the Scraps! Look at all the variety!

Along the roadside, the blue lupine was in full bloom. . .

Lots of them!

And finally, just before the close of the month, I headed to Endicott, New York and Patchwork Angels Quilt Shop for two workshops to make the Bloomin' Steps quilt.

Mary finished enough blocks to get a preview of 'coming attractions.'

And to my surprise, in exchange for some fabric, Laurie presented me with this chicken pincushion she made from a pattern by Art Fabric Studio.

Happy Stitching!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Home is Where the Nest Is

Happy Independence Day!

I'm taking a little departure from stitchy news to share the results of a unique photo contest.

Earlier this year, the Cornell Lab of Ornithology challenged their followers to find "Funky Nests in Funky Places." Submissions included photos of bird's nests located in fairly unusual locations, like way up high on a construction crane, or on the top of the head of a statue of a bear.

Flower pots, ladders, water fountains. When it comes to finding the right place to raise a feathered family, nearly anything will do.

Photos, drawings, and poetry were all allowable submissions, so any one could play along.

This hummingbird nest knitted into the strings of a basketball hoop is one of my favorites (of course!).

Take a look at the entries. Click on the link, then scroll down to see all the pictures.

Do you have a favorite?

Happy Stitching!