Friday, January 27, 2012

Mission Complete!

There was one last quilt at the bottom of my basket. I started this quilt in the 90's! I bought this beautiful piece of fabric from the shop that used to be in St. Louis Park in Miracle Mile. The batik flowers were already on fabric, all stitched with beautiful bright thread. I remember that it was spendy, but I had to have it. I couldn't bring myself to cut it up at all and I didn't see the point in getting too crazy with it. I decided to put a simple border of batiks around it and call it done. It has been sitting (sandwiched and pinned!) since 1999. Yikes! Talk about UFO's.
So now the basket is EMPTY!! All of the unfinished quilts are finished!! Except for the ones in the next basket, which are finished tops without backs. That is my next challenge for myself. But before I move on to the next challenge, I want to celebrate the accomplishment of this one! So...
...I would like to have a giveaway. For a chance to win your very own moda messenger bag, leave a comment about a recent goal that you have accomplished (sewing or otherwise). I will randomly chose a winner next week.

P.S. I also have a fat quarter for the first person to remind me of the name of that fabric shop in SLP!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Beast is back!

This is the machine that I sewed my first stitches on in the early 70's. I recently rescued it from my parents basement. It seems that sometime in the last 40 years something rodent like took up residence inside of it. I brought it in to John and he fixed it right up. I haven't taken it for a spin yet, but it will be fun to take that trip down memory lane!
I also finished another quilt in the basket. My Mom gave me this US Map panel a long time ago. I don't usually use panels like this, but my oldest daughter was very interested in maps at the time. Hopefully she still is. Another thing she was/is interested in is...

...checkers! I used some scraps (also from my Mom) to put together a checker board for the back of the quilt. This quilt will live in the back of my car and will be perfect for hanging out at my husbands softball games this spring/summer. I am thinking that I should add a pocket of some kind to keep some checkers in.

Monday, January 23, 2012

A Pair of Cords...

Last spring at quilt market, I was bitten by a corduroy bug. These were not your ordinary corduroys, or at least what I am used to. There were a few designers that had some super soft and drapey cord prints in their collection. Thin, but sturdy, in beautiful prints. As soon as they arrived I had to try them out. I made a couple of simple quilt tops and they sat in the "basket" of unfinished projects until today!
The first one, I made out of Amy Butler's Soul Blossom corduroy. As always, the prints were gorgeous. I added a solid green cord from Robert Kaufman.
Next I made the same simple pattern from the corduroy in the Happy Together collection from Timeless Treasures and added an orange solid again from Kaufman.

There were some pros and cons to the project. Something new for a novice corduroy stitcher like myself was working with fabric that has a nap. I am not sure if that is the right term or not, but basically each piece of fabric needs to be placed in the same direction or the sheen changes. Something I didn't catch on to right away. But, all in all, I LOVE the weight and feel of the finished quilts. They are warm and cozy without being too heavy.

In spite of the fact that there was no school today, and I had some extra "help" in the sewing room, I was able to get them done. I am getting pretty close to the bottom of the basket of unfinished quilts. I can't wait to start something new once they are all DONE!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A little something for my own bed!

I started this quilt over a year ago with the intention of using it in the summer. It is made from a luxurious collection of cotton voile from Anna Maria Horner, but it feels like silk. It is very light weight and I used Quilter's Dream Natural Request (the lightest batting I could find) to keep it that way. As soon as I stitched the last stitch, I tossed it on the bed to see how it looked. It took less than a minute for Lucea the cat to curl up on it. Less than a minute after that Hazel declared it "comfy" and curled up with her. No better seal of approval than that. Now I am looking forward to summer even more than I was before...

Sunday, January 8, 2012

All signs point to yes...

So, the spreadsheet looked good. But I needed a few more nudges from the universe. After a consultation with a fortune cookie...
...and a roll of the indecision dice...

I am thrilled to share the news, that I will continue my leave of absence from my teaching job for another least! This is just way too much fun to stop. Many thanks to everyone that has supported me in so many ways so far.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Parade Quilt

Another unfinished quilt....Finished! I am loving these bright colors in what is supposed to be the dead of winter here in Minnesota. We have been lucky so far, but I have a feeling that the worst is on the way. These last few quilts will hopefully be a cheerful distraction from that. In the meantime, I just continue to appreciate the lovely weather we have been having here. The skiers in my family are not as happy about this, but they had their share last year.

.Last May I got the chance to meet Violet Craft at Spring Quilt Market in Salt Lake City. She designed the fabric that I used for the Parade Quilt. The collection is called Peacock Lane and has been available in shops for a while now. The whole collection is bright and versatile. It could go "baby" all the way up to "grown-up". Really fun without being cutesy! I am looking forward to seeing what she comes up with next.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy 2012!

Well 2011 was a pretty exciting year for me. I decided to take a year long leave of absence from my teaching job in order to focus on a few important things. The "thing" at the top of that list was my family. For a while I had been juggling too many things and felt like I was short-changing them. My absolute most favorite thing about my leave has been walking my kids to school every morning. There is not a better way to start a day as far as I am concerned. After they are off to school, most days I have a chance to spend a brief amount of quality time with my husband in an empty house. Another thing I have been doing with my time is really focusing on this little hobby-business of mine. PixieSpit has been so much fun over the last few years and I wanted to make a real go of it. There are some pros and cons involved with trying to make a business of doing what you love, but for the most part things have been going incredibly well. So, here I sit ready to make a spreadsheet with fancy number and formulas to see how it all looks on paper. I need to decide if I am going back to my teaching job next fall by the end of this month... Fingers crossed that the spreadsheet supports the feeling in my gut!