Thursday, March 5, 2015

Sew Much Going On!

I went from quiet days to busy days in the span of less than a week!  Boy do I have a LOT to talk about.  If you're interested, might as well go get a cup of coffee and sit back, relax and catch up on my goings-on.  LOL.

First, what I've been working on...

Was watching Bonnie Hunter's Quilt Cam the other day and decided to start using up some of my multitude of scraps in my bins.  I've been having a blast sewing up these little 3-1/2" string blocks.  I have no clue what I'm going to use them for, but I'm sure there will be a project or two or three down the line where they will come in handy.  I'll be working on lots of these off-and-on between other projects.

Second, guess who I saw on Tuesday evening?  Bonnie herself!

My girlfriend and I drove all the way from the East Coast of Florida to Tampa on the West Coast to attend a lecture/trunk show she was giving at the Cypress Creek Quilt Guild.  The trunk show was scheduled for 6:30pm so we decided to make it a mini-getaway and left my house at 8:30am, spent the night at the same Holiday Inn that Bonnie and some other quilters were staying at, and returned home Wednesday afternoon to spend the rest of the day with our usual Wednesday quilt friends.  It was a wonderful lecture and Bonnie is a gifted speaker.  Poor thing, though; she caught something and was losing her voice and not feeling up-to-snuff.  I don't know how she does all that she does...

Funny story:  We got to our hotel around 3:30pm or so, checked in, dropped off the luggage and then decided to head off to where the lecture would be held as it was then just beginning with rush hour traffic and we wanted to be sure we knew where we were going and all.  Well, coming back down from our room, I was planning on heading out the side door since we parked near there, but my girlfriend, Mona, said "No, let's go through the lobby in case Bonnie's there."  She's never met Bonnie in person, so she was psyched.  LOL.  I said, "There's no way she's there, she's probably giving a class or something."  But I went anyway to appease her.  Of course, Bonnie wasn't there and I kidded her.  As we went out the front doors, there was a car parked at the entrance.  The ever-positive Mona said, "Maybe she's in that car."  I couldn't stop laughing at her excitement and rolling my eyes.  She kinda discretely peeks in the driver window of the car and says, "OMG, she is in there!"  I, of course, am in complete disbelief, thinking she's pulling my leg to get back at me for making fun of her, but I peek in the car anyway.  Don't you know Bonnie was in there on the passenger side!  Of course, then I couldn't contain my excitement to see her again, and Bonnie was so sweet and waved us around to her side and gave me a big hug and I introduced her to Mona and we chatted for a few.  That's when I found out she wasn't feeling so great.  Poor thing.  They were on their way to the venue to set up.

We also ran into her coming back to the hotel after dinner.  We were just walking into the front entrance, and the car she was in was pulling up to let her off.  I couldn't help myself when we saw her again, and walked over to her as she was getting out and quipped, "Are you stalking us or something?"  LOL.  She was bone tired, but clued us in on where the Klondike bars are hidden in the lobby and we all walked to our rooms together.  She's such a sweetie.  I sure hope she's feeling better soon.

Back on track with our Tampa trip:  Of course, we had to make some pit stops to and from our ultimate destination, so we made it a point to head over to Dunedin, near Clearwater, and check out the huge quilt shop they have over there called "Rainbow's End."  I'm not lying when I say I was majorly overwhelmed.  I only walked out of there with two jellyrolls for a class I'm taking on Friday.  I think we were there for 2 hours or so, just taking it all in and ogling the fabric.  They had EVERYTHING under the sun!

On our way back on Wednesday morning, we hit Lakeland and the "Fabric Warehouse" there.  It was a nice shop with great prices.  I scored a lot of bargains there.  Check out my complete "weekend" haul...  The "More Adventures With Leaders and Enders" book I purchased from Bonnie at the event.  You can guess it's autographed.  :o)

Next, remember the Fig Tree Contest I entered?  I previously mentioned I won the one for the Fat Quarter Shop, here; but I ALSO won the one from Fig Tree itself!  I've been holding off announcing it because I wanted to coincide it with Joanna's announcement.  She mentioned she was planning on blogging about it on their website, along with pictures of the winning quilts (I think there were 4), but she's been busy with deadlines, so I guess it was overlooked.  Anyway, I received my prizes yesterday!  They were there waiting for me when I walked in the door!  Woohoo! 

There are 7 Fig Tree patterns, and a fat-eighth bundle of each of the fabrics in her new line "Aloha Girl" to be released this month.  I was sooo hoping the fabric would be from the new line!  I'm very happy, as you can guess.  :oD

I'll have more soon, as tomorrow is our Guild's Gathering.  I'm taking a Jelly Roll Race "class" from 9am-12pm and teaching Bonnie's Scrappy Mountains Majesties class from 1pm-4pm.

'Til next time,

Saturday, February 28, 2015

New Dolls!

I haven't been doing much sewing or quilting lately, hence it's been quiet around here so nothing much to blog about.

I did, however, make a trip to Orlando last Saturday and besides a new Gold iPhone 6 Plus, HAD to stop in the new American Girl Place store at the Florida Mall.  Of course, I didn't leave empty-handed.  I bought the new Grace Girl of the Year doll and a green-eyed, redhead, aka Girl of Today #61.  I also had both their ears pierced, which is a first for me.  My previous AG dolls don't have their ears pierced.  I don't even think it was an option when I purchased them at the time.

So yesterday, I made a new dress and Grace is here to model it for you...

I also made matching earrings.  My first time making earrings; so there was a lot of trial and error going on because the holes for the AG dolls are quite large.  I watched some YouTube videos and it seems the trick is to use the stud earrings that you can get at AG and make the earrings to hang off those studs.  I had to practice a bit to get my wires to curl uniformly to fit around the studs, but I think they look pretty good now.  I just used the plain AG silver ball studs with these dangly earrings.

I just love the facial features on Grace.  Her pouty lips and those freckles are to die for.  I also like that she has bright blue eyes with dark hair. 

I'm sure I'll be making more outfits, so likely the next one will be modeled by the redhead.  I don't have a name for her yet, but I'll be thinking on it.

'Til later,

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Lake Yale Quilt Retreat

I arrived home a little before 5pm last night from our four day, three night quilt retreat at Lake Yale.  What fun was had by all 62 of us!  Yes...62!  The retreat center is located in Eustis/Leesburg, FL at the Lake Yale Baptist Conference Center.  They own acres and acres of beautiful wooded land around a central lake, aptly named Lake Yale.  It was very beautiful and serene.  Other than the fact that the mattresses were a bit hard and the lack of suitable lighting because the room was so large and the ceilings so high (we were all told to bring our ott lights and such to help remedy the situation), it was a wonderful time.  Click here for a link to the Lake Yale Baptist Conference Center website if you want to browse.  Just click on the video strip embedded in the picture at the top of the home page.

What was even more enjoyable was there were two additional/separate quilt groups meeting in different buildings/conference rooms during the same timeframe as our group, so we got to go visit more lovely quilters and ooh and ahh over the projects they were working on.  Many new friendships were formed.  :o)

It was quite nice to not have to worry about everyday things, like walking my dog and cooking.  Our meals were served cafeteria-style in an adjacent building.  Breakfasts were served at 7:30-8:30am, lunches at 12:00-1:00pm and dinners at 5:30-6:30pm.  I swore I gained 10 pounds, but got on the scale this morning and only gained 2.5 pounds.  Whew...

I made quite a bit of progress on three of my UFOs:

Waste Not, Want Not

The first I worked on was my Waste Not, Want Not project made from 1-1/2" scraps from Keepsake Quilting dating back to when they gave Gold members a pinked scrap of each of their available fabrics for the year -- probably very early 2000.  I had decided I didn't want to "waste" them and sorted some of them by color family and decided to make blocks.  I only had the center of about 4 done and sitting in an untouched bin, but was able to get all 9 sewn and sashed at the retreat, and now have to decide how I want to set them into a quilt.

Batik BOM

The second project is a BOM from probably 2007 when I still lived in NJ.  It's a batik paper-piecing project and I got three of the 12 blocks pieced.  More to go, but further than I was, considering I had absolutely nothing done on that project before the retreat...  *grin*

Ribbon Swirls

The third is my Ribbon Swirls quilt I designed several years ago.  I had the pieces all cut and ready to assemble, so was able to put together 6 blocks.  I need to make 36 more for a 6x7 layout.

We had a snack table (OMG!) and raffles all retreat long.  My name was the third or fourth pulled for a "thanks for coming" prize raffle, so I was able to pick a really nice prize.  I decided on a Hemming House layer cake by Moda.  Yeah, like I need more fabric.  LOL.  They also had a 50/50 raffle and a major-prize raffle. 

Here I'll share with you some pictures of all the fun in progress.  It was inspiring to see all the different projects everyone was working on and at the end of the retreat we had a show and tell of everyone's accomplishments.

Hope you had a prolific few days also,

Sunday, January 18, 2015

It's Baaacckkk!

I got my Scrappy Mountains Majesties quilt back today and it looks F-A-B-U-L-O-U-S!!!  I'm so happy with the quilt motif and thread that I chose.  Guess I will spend some time in front of the TV tacking the binding to the back.

I sure hope Mona and I get a lot of sign-ups for our class. 

Grinning from ear to ear,

Another Doll Outfit...

Yesterday I made a cute pair of doll pajamas.  I added a bit of decorative stitching to the top and I think it gives it a little extra oomph.  Just lovin' these pj's.

More later,

Saturday, January 17, 2015

In The Mood For Something Different...

I put all my quilting projects on hold to enjoy a little doll fun.  It's been so long since I've made some doll clothes and I'm in the mood.  So I guess I'd better strike while the iron's hot.  (No pun intended.) 

Here's a cute little outfit I finished yesterday.  It's a white peasant crop top and a mock-wrapped skirt.  I think it came out darling.  I even made the necklace.

My daughters and I went to a craft fair this past November and I was shocked no one had a booth selling 18" doll clothing.  I mean, it's so popular.  So I'm toying with the idea of sewing a couple outfits a week and renting a booth.  Can't hurt to give it a shot.  :o)

Playing dress-up with my dolls,

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Scrappy Mountains Majesties

Took a break from the Grand Illusion Mystery Quilt and finished up the top for my Scrappy Mountains Majesties.  I called my longarmer this morning and she can fit me in before my next Guild Meeting at the end of January -- which works out great as I need at least the top (if not the finished quilt by then) so people can see our examples as they sign up for the class Mona and I are teaching.

I think it turned out great and I'm loving the scrappy borders which helped use up the majority of the leftover fabric used in the center.

Thanks, Dad, for holding up the quilt so I could take a picture.  :o)

A weight has been lifted off my shoulder,

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Grand Illusion Mystery Quilt Clue 6 aka The Big Reveal - Sneaky, Sneaky!

Ah, yes.  Bonnie keeps us on our toes.  She released the final clue and the BIG REVEAL at midnight on New Year's Eve.  Sneaky, sneaky! 

I love it!  I knew it would be spectacular.  There is a lot of motion going on, so I have to admit I am happy that I didn't go scrappy.  I think it would have detracted from the pattern too much.  Of course, I had to put one block together with sashing, just to see how it looks.  I'm loving it!  I'll be working on it on and off probably with other projects mixed in.  I'm not in a rush to have it done...and who knows -- as it evolves I may even change a few things.  Maybe, maybe not.  I do want to get it done sooner rather than later, as I certainly don't want or need another UFO in my closet.  Here's my block with the sashing.  If you want to see Bonnie's final quilt, click here.

Speaking of UFOs, I'm thinking I need to tackle a few more this year.  Luckily I have a 4-day retreat scheduled at the end of January at Lake Yale with a bunch of crazy quilters; a couple of them my friends and others who are just friends I haven't met yet.  :o)  I predict it will be a blast!  I'm thinking I should schlep some of my UFOs with me and see what I can accomplish, rather than starting new projects.  The great thing about this retreat is you can work on whatever you want!  Woohoo! 

Have a Happy, Quilty New Year!

Monday, December 29, 2014

Happy Dancing!!!

I opened my e-mail this morning and what to my wondering eyes should appear but an e-mail from the Fat Quarter Shop notifying me that I was one of the three winners of a $100 Gift Certificate for my Butterfly Bliss Quilt for the Somerset Mini-Charms Contest.  What!?!?!  Holy freeholy!  Knock me over with a feather!  Needless to say, I'm...

Happy Dancing!!!

Grand Illusion Mystery Quilt Clue 5 - Fast and Fun Four-Patches

The mystery is moving along quickly now.  We're at Clue 5, with Clue 6 coming on Friday.  I wouldn't be surprised if the upcoming clue was the final clue, along with the BIG REVEAL.  I'm so excited to see how all the puzzle pieces will come together.  Bonnie's mysteries never disappoint, so I'm sure it will be a stunner!

So here was this week's clue.  Fast and fun 4-patches.  Quick and easy.  I'm glad for it as I am itching to get moving on other projects.

Speaking of other projects, here's one that I pulled out this morning and arranged into rows before I hopped into the shower.  One of my girlfriends and I are teaching Bonnie's Scrappy Mountains Majesties in a class in March and I need to get this done.  We are both doing different versions to show the quilters a couple different variations that you can achieve by rotating the blocks.  This is mine using Civil War fabrics.  It will possibly get a border.  I'll know more once I sew the rows together and it speaks to me.  Hers is done with reds and whites with all the "logs" going in the same direction.  They are very different, but will be equally beautiful.

Oh -- and I'll have an exciting announcement in a separate post later today.  *Squee!*

Quilt on!