Monday, August 30, 2010

Final look at the Round Robin Project & Design Wall Monday

Last week I shared with all of you the block that I was mailing off for a new Round Robin exchange... you remember the orange and purple batik star? Well on Thursday I received a little card in my mailbox saying I had a package to sign for but after picking Nora up from school I figured we were home for the day and put it in my purse for the next day.

Well on Friday I totally forgot to go get it :/ but since I had to take a "candy bars" swap package to the Post Office to be mailed on Saturday - I remembered to also pick up my package that had to be signed for! ;) I just knew it was going to be the Round Robin center being mailed to me from craftyladyage82 so I opened it up right there in the PO before leaving.

"Ta-Da!" Isn't it lovely!?!! I've never seen this type of quilt before so you can just picture me standing there in the PO holding this block about 4 inches from my nose giving it a good looking over and oooughing and aaahing over it. :P

and you know what else was neat...? her hand writing ;)

.....and this my blog readers....

is the very last you will see or read of my RR happenings until April of 2011

The rules say we can not share any photos at all of our projects. However we were all allowed to show the center blocks that we made to one another on our thread topic - and what a variety there is among all 40 of us! It will be SO fun to see the BIG REVEAL show at the retreat next year! ;)

Below are the photos of the ones in my group that I'll be working on... but again I will not be able to show you any of my work between now and April.

Saturday I returned home just after 12:00pm and got the kids fed their lunch and put down for nap time. Nora had a Birthday party to go to later that afternoon so that left for a block of time that was too short to go grocery shopping or take a nap myself... so instead I sat down and made up 7 more blocks to go with 7 I made last weekend.

So since I was downstairs and the kids were napping - I laid them all out on the kitchen table for a photo - to hope to post for JudyL's Design Wall Monday Mr. Linky thing she does. I am so loving all of these... each block unique and fun to play with what color to use where. Adding the solid pieces from my very small KONA collection was a great idea!

Two of my favorites from today. The solid yellow star points really look great against that blue stripped shirt, and the mocha solid brown looks great as the corner squares don't you think?

and while working with these Saturday I couldn't help but swing by the Good Will "Tag Sale" on Sunday... I just had to see if they had any light colored shirts on sale... and guess what followed me home... I think I'll wait until after David returns to work to sneak these new shirts into the house! LOL

and speaking of Sunday - look what I did after Mass. I balanced my purse on the handrail of the steps and then balanced my camera on top of the purse... and set the timer. ;)

Not bad..... considering we only took 1 photo and I about tripped running to my spot after having to SWOOP a run-away 3 year old boy. :P

Love from Texas!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Ready to GO! ??

Back when I first started this blog - I was new to quilting as a REAL Hobby... as in use my machine more than once a year. ;) You may remember that I sneaked and shared photos here on my blog of the Round Robin Exchange that I participated in with a group of ladies on the HGTV board.... at that time no one there knew I had a blog. ;)

**and it was within a few weeks of the big reveal time** and I was just itching to show someone my work... today I clicked back thru the archives (2007) and found my post about the quilts I worked on HERE.

If you are a regular reader/follower then I'm sure you have heard me mention more than once that I'd *Never* participate in another Round Robin again... and I truly did mean it each time I wrote it LOL but....you knew there was going to be a but didn't you? ....but way back in 2007, I didn't know enough to know I didn't know! Some would say "you learned as you went" oh is that ever an understatement... LOL but...

I'm planning a trip to North Carolina next Spring to meet up with my fellow HGTV Friends at their 5th Annual Circle of Friends retreat.... and while they count down the months several of us are participating in a "small" Round Robin exchange while we wait to meet in person for the Big Reveal!

So I couldn't just let them all sign up to play with out me... why how un-fun would that be to be sitting there ooough-ing and aaah-ing over each RR as they presented them at the COF and wishing I had participated? :P

I think there are 40 of us... split up into 8 groups of 5 people. So we mail our center and then will have to add a round 4 times between now and Feb. 14th. ;) and each round is to be 5" finished or less... around the center block that can not be any larger than 9" finished

You can click onto my note pages to read what I wrote to send along with my block. ;) The story behind choosing it and all...and since tomorrow is the DUE DATE to mail - I'm a whole day early :P so I better get GO!-ing to the Post Office...

And speaking of "Go!" I'm sure you've heard seen and read all about their cutting system and how everyone who's in blogland is either running around entering to win - that is if they've not already bought one or won one.... and the people at GO! are giving them away left and right in blogland so bloggers have one to give away too... and on their facebook page.... talk about marketing!

Well I don't want to BRAG or anything - but about 2 weeks ago on their facebook page they had a giveaway and.... I WON!

I was the winner of their drawing for guessing what hour they'd reach their 6000th fan... and I feel that my prize was the GREATEST AND BESTEST PRIZE that they've yet to give out! It was just meant for me to have it and I'm so glad I did win it! :)

Wanna see it?

Yep - their signature yucky green colored T-SHIRT! Again, I can't think of a better prize to win from them. I'll certainly use it often and there are no expensive accessories that I have to go buy to go with it.

and want to know the best part besides it being free?? My new GO! T-shirt will NOTcut Swiss Cheese holes in any of my stash! :P So that indeed leaves me with a big smile :D

and speaking of Go... I better get GO-ing to the Post Office with my package. ;)

Love from Texas!


Here is the prof that it's in the mail - only $2.19 to mail with a delivery confirmation number - which is mandatory in our swap ;) and look how sweet Nora looks eager to do her homework as soon as we got home from school today .... her first set of "SPELLING WORDS" ;) The 3rd one on her list..... "go" ;)

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Saturday Workshop with Bonnie Hunter

Ta-Da! After four trips in and out from David's truck I finally brought everything in and got set up in plenty of time for the class. So glad that I arrived early!!

After seeing Mona & Diane's portable design boards that they made... and shared at Guild Show-N-Tell.... while packing I found some fusible flannel at home and came up with the idea to simply fold it around my BIG 20" ruler and pin for just the day... and so glad I did ;) My notions tackle box and Bonnie Binder held it standing up for the day. That block on there I put together last night just to "see" what it would look like ;)

I really should have walked around the room taking photos of everyone else's set up.... A LOT can be learned at a workshop that isn't even class related! Those ladies are some serious workshop going quilters! Several brought their own padded office chairs from home :)

Here's a photo of my stuff on the wall close by. That black rolling tote is a scrapbooking travel bag that I got in 2005 on sale at Joanns for I believe either $20 or $39.95 (regularly priced $80) either way it was a GREAT Deal! it does what I need... roll in and out of workshops that I attend. ;) oh and yes, I brought with me, both a BIN of shirts and a rubbermaid of already disected shirt parts.... everyone passing asked, is this your FIRST Guild workshop... I guess this sorta gave it away hua? :P

after I found out that no one would be joining me at my table I got to stretch out a little. :) Love my rotating cutting mat! Especially for using these rulers... takes a while to get use to them and I always seemed to have them positioned "left handed" so to speak... but no biggie... just rotate the mat around and continue. :) If I were to ever get to go to another workshop I'd place this on the same side of the table as me... so that I don't have to get up and walk around to it each time... although getting up often probably helped me not get stiff in the chair.... but next time I'll work smarter and and save my walking breaks for looking at what everyone else is doing ;)

I was probably the only one there taking photos during the class. Well there was one lady with a video camera... but I didn't see anyone else - which probably explains why there was no gathering for a group photo of everyone with Bonnie and our blocks that we made...as she so often shares of the guilds on her own blog. :( Not Bonnie's fault at all - but I was a little let down by the guild ladies on that.

Ever heard of the phrase "Dine & Dash"? well that is sorta what it felt like. The class time was until 3pm and sure you want to make sure you are packed up a little before 3 so that we can clear out in a decent amount of time and not left lingering around... but I'm not kidding you - I looked up and there were 7 ladies already wheeling OUT the door at only 2:15. So there goes the idea of a group photo I immediately thought. :/ Oh well... guess that explains a lot on why their web page doesn't have many up to date photos of monthly workshops or of show-n-tell either.*sigh*

Perhaps that my be in my future one year... as in when all of my kids are in school.... anyway back to photos I took of Bonnie ;) while she was teaching. She knew I was taking them - did you notice above how she tuned my way to show me how using the Companion Ruler and EZ Rulers together made the perfect Flying Geese block? ;)

Above, the block on the left is the one also used in Bonnie's Scraps & Shirttails pattern "Hand Me Downs" which was what I was working on. Remember me mentioning the workshop was for My Blue Heaven which uses the same block and one other I think called Puss in the Corner? :)

What a day - 6 hours of sewing time without my kids and WITH THE Bonnie!

I will admit, I was totally out of my comfort zone, and it felt like an out of body experience like I was standing next to myself questioning E-V-E-R-Y little thing - the things I'd say, how I'd cut my fabrics... urgh. I just couldn't feel comfortable - awkward is the only word I know to describe it..... and b/c of that I was disappointed with myself.

Perhaps it was b/c I was running on fumes! The night before I stayed up late packing (worried I'd forget something) but wanted to have it all in David's pickup -set and ready to go... b/c I had to drive 30... min to get there... and too I felt it would be best to leave before the kids saw me. I'm SO glad I did leave before they woke up = no thinking of them crying for me the rest of the day.

So I finally got in bed after 1am... but was still tossing and turning at 2:30... alarm went off at 6:30... so I only got a nap.

But I'd do it all over again - only next time I'd make sure I had a basket full of 2.5" strips that I had cut BEFORE the workshop! Man oh man, I would have accomplished so much more during my time had I already had noodles to pick and choose from...........momma always said "Hind-sight is 20/20"

Just before turning off my iron and packing up, I had my sewing neighbor take my photo with my 7 blocks in progress chain piecing :)


Sunday after Church we went home as usual, ate lunch and then the twins went down for nap time and I unpacked from the workshop and put everything away and then got to sit down for sewing time and finished up my 7 blocks from yesterday.

Ta-Da! "Hand Me Downs" blocks sewn together as "2-sies" (1 block with 1 setting square) - I'll wait till I have more made before joining them that way I can move some around if I need to for color placement but this way as 2-sies it will help the joining to go together a little faster later and also help me visualize how it big it's growing...

ought oh - looks like I have some FROG stitching to do "RIP IT, RIP IT" the block with the lime green in the center's points are upside down at the bottom... good thing that side isn't the one attached to the setting block, so it will be easier to fix.

I'm just loving these blocks and playing with the colors in each one... It's all about the Dark/Light values! And pretty much anything goes color wise. After I came in from taking this photo I sewed another 9 sets of 4 flying geese units. After I get a variety of those done then I'll make some QST units for the centers and play match maker with them and the geese. ;)

This is gonna be a fun quilt to make and my first using my shirts. ;) I already know that I'm gonna need to buy some more plastic see thru drawers like I already have set up for my "Scrap Users System" and dedicate them to only shirtings! I want to have them all cut up and organized so that piecing will go much faster if I just need to pull 2.5" lights and darks...

Well thanks for stopping by and reading... and reading... haha I'm sorry I got a little long winded on my guild post below ;) but there was a lot to report about :)

Hope all of you had a great weekend - it was a very fun one for me!

Love from Texas!

Friday, August 20, 2010

My Bonnie Saved A Seat for Me!

Hey everyone - it's taken me a few days to write this up and get it ready to publish... if anyone remembers 3rd Thursday = Quilt Guild Night for me, and this month was the WHOLE REASON I joined!!! b/c the guest speaker/teacher for August was Bonnie Hunter of Quiltville.

And just like in months past, all day and even the day before I prayed and prayed that nothing would happen at the plant for David to deal with to keep me from going... after all hubby is the babysitter b/c grandparents are 16 hours away. He arrived home in time and just as I scooped up my keys and CHARGED camera WITH the memory card... I decided last minute I'd help him out and stick the Pizza into the preheated oven.... while STILL holding keys and camera... we have one of those pampered chef stones with the metal rack handles...

what was I thinking? or not thinking? Yep, umhum, as you can already see coming... I practically THREW my camera into the oven! Yep my 2nd heart stopping moment this month... (the other involves ME tripping over a cord and knocking over a lighted fountain resting under neath of a 5 foot tall cake held up my 4 sets of stair steps... but that is another story for another time)

Thankfully I was able to fish it out using some tongs that were nearby in my basket of kitchen utensils - it was wedged in under the heating element sitting there in the oven floor... AAK! The only damage was that my scotch tape holding the camera together was all melted and also a 1.5" diagonal burn mark on the screen where you see the photos... but I quickly turned it on and WHEW it still works!!

I guess I was too shook up to remember to take any "before leaving photos" and share here with all of you... but the GOOD NEWS is - that I DO have a few photos from the guild night to share ;)

as soon as I arrived and opened the door and saw the sign in sheet - it dawned on me that I FORGOT my name badge..... but forget being eligable for the door prizes - b/c THE Bonnie found me within moments and came up from behind me and greeted me with a huge hug! Looks like I didn't need a name badge after all :P

and for the fist time ever, I had VIP seating.. we chatted very briefly before the meeting but told me that she has saved ME a seat up on the front row RIGHT beside HER! :P how cool was that!? Good thing too b/c it was the largest night meeting crowd we've had since I joined in April... so I didn't have to look over anyone's heads to see the quilts... they were RIGHT THERE in front of me! :) Woo hooo!

Of course after the welcome and President's recap of the morning meeting - the first thing up is Show-N-Tell and last night there were more SNT's than any other month I've been to! :) I roughly counted just over 30-35 women at the meeting... and they reported there were 25 guests at the morning meeting pluss the 100+ members that regularly attend. ;)

One lady I sat beside had traveled 2 hours to come as a visitor and see OUR Bonnie ;) Wish I could remember her name...

This guild member brought 2 quilts to share. The first one was for her grandson with a Noah's Ark theme. Those large red star points were made from fabric that had a tone on tone print of patchwork stars -very cool! ;)

This one's made from using circles that she cut out and sewed together and then machine appliqued down the cruved flaps. It had a neat square patchwork back side b/c it was quilt as you go but I didn't missed getting a snapshot of the back sorry :/ Don't cha just love red & white quilts! ;)

And the next Show-N-Tell was by Miss Ann. She has been a guild member for 15 years and never before last night had ever brought anything for show-n-tell!!!!!!!!!!!! Can you believe that? I'm so glad that she did b/c her quilt had such a great and funny story behind it.... even involving calling her local POLICE STATION to ask what the number was for being drunk! LOL :P So her quilt name is .08 cabin something... I'm sorry I don't remember exactly - but I do know she didn't want to call it drunkin log cabins... LOL But she did back it with a very pretty fabric with wine glasses :) no photo of that one either. :/

I met Ann at my LQS earlier this year, April I think it was.... I'm not sure how "new" she is to working there - as I've not been in there but less than a handful of times the past year or two - ever since the twins started walking there is no way I can manage them in a fabric store - so not only are they great birth control but they're also helpin manage the budget at our home! LOL

Anyway, Ann was "new to me" and she and I hit it off talking and that day I got to share with her my Crayola Challenge Quilt and also my Quilt for Kids Quilts that I happened to have with me before I took them into the Mailbox place next to the LQS to mail them off. (David was in the car with the kids that morning, I'm sure) But I'm so glad Ann and I got to visit and meet one another that day - I got to share with her www.quiltville.com and she wrote it down and went home and fell in love with Bonnie Hunter :)

Here's Denise Green above - she was the trunk show guest the fist month I attended in April, so it was Great to see her again. The moment I saw her there I just knew she was gonna be in for a treat to see Bonnie Hunter's quilts b/c Denise also is a scrap lover!

Even Mona had a Show-N-Tell... her "Bricks & Stepping Stones" made with shirtings. This one is in my future too! FREE Pattern for above quilt here --> Quiltville's Bricks & Stepping Stones

and if this BA wasn't beautiful enough - the hand quilting on it was Gorgeous with a capital G!

sorry I don't have names for all the show-n-tell ... but I was so pleased to see so many members at the night meeting and several who brought something to share tonight!

Our Guild President, Diane's Show-N-Tel. This was from the June workshop when Kim Diehl was here. Also Diane had her monthly banner to show us - the Ball canning jar looked so cool!

Sorry I don't have a better photo, she was far away from me... oh and her bag- HER BAG! The MOTHER of all workshop bags... she kept pulling and pulling her stuff out of it... all that she made to coordinate. So functional and pretty!

I guess I didn't get a shot of the front side but let me tell ya - it held e-v-e-r-y-t-h-i-n-g... tube mailer for fuseable stuff, cutting mat, rulers - OH the rulers even a long pocket on the bottom for her 24x6... she also had a bag for her iron with separate place for the cord to go over so it wouldn't get hot... and she made a matching lunch bag... and this very cool flip over and stand up Block Design Board... again sorry I didn't get better photos...

Mona in the black had made one too...

So pretty and it got a lot of Oooughs and Aaaah's ;)

and then...

Then, it was OUR Bonnie's turn! :) Ever since discovering her blog back in 2005, I've always imagined what it would be like to be a fly on the wall during one of her class/workshops or turnk shows... and TONIGHT I had a FRONT Row Seat! (one that she saved for me!)

and here she is in front of her famous "Fabric Food Chain" quilt.... no telling how many sky miles this one has racked up b/c it gets to go to every show ;) Also Bonnie had her tote bag which I'm sure she uses in all her talks... pulling out scraps of fabric and talking about them... but take a look at something she brought along extra that she just happened to stumble upon before coming to Texas.... something from her magazine stash...

Ta-Da! An article write up with photo of OUR GUILD from some 30 years ago!!

Not sure if you can click to make it larger and read it - but take a look!!! Just before packing for her trip to Texas she was going thru some old magazines... and flipped thru one and this caught her eye! Talk about PERFECT timing!

This was written about OUR Guild years ago and so what a neat moment when she pulled it out of her bag and read parts of it to us! ;) The last paragraph was especially neat about Round Robins. Bonnie said that earlier in the morning meeting she asked the group if any of the ladies who were in the photo were there today? and that several ladies in the front row all raised their hands :P How cool is that!?

The first one she started out with was Perkiomen Daydreams, I think b/c it may have been the heaviest with all the seams 10,000 pieces wow. My photo of it turned out terrible ( I hadn't played with the settings for the light in there (same light fixtures as a school gym, which doesn't always play nice with my camera) So when I can I'll share a link...

Next up was...Aaaah - the Double Delight in person! I've seen many photos from the yahoo group when they worked on this one when it was a Mystery - and ooough la, la it was so much prettier in person! This photo does not do it justice!! I know that one day I will have to make this one!! Goodness knows I already have over 800 mini 9 patches... just need to choose what color and then plan the rest. one day, one day..

Above is the quilt for the Saturday Workshop = My Blue Heaven - pattern available FREE on her website. What is so awesome about this pattern is that it taught how to use BOTH the EZ Angle and... the Companion Rulers! :).. Yeaaa! Learning these will change the way we piece simple HST QST and flying geese units all using strips from our Scrap BINS!!

The "My Blue Heaven" quilt above was made using entirely 2.5" strips of lights and various shades of blues. Yep you read that right 2.5" was the only size needed! ;)

Next one was Pineapple Blossom where she uses the sew and flip method and all of those HST's in the border are the bonus units from resewing again before cutting off the sew&flips! Again, it's another FREE pattern on her website and also another one on my bucket list!

and I have to add ... that as I sat there and watched each quilt unfold it was like I was getting to meet someone special for the first time... like an internet friend that you've known on line for a while... but never met in person before... I know they are not people but quilts, but I sooo remember Bonnie writing about them as she made them years ago on her blog - way before she knew they'd one day be in a book.. I knew most all of them by name before she announced them :)

Example of the memories flashing back to me before my very eyes...Cathedral Windows. I remember when she wrote about it here how it reminded her of the windows of the church where the choir she sang with rehearsed in Columbia, SC. Did you realize this pattern all came about b/c a reader wrote to her and asked, "what else can you do with 4-patches if she kept making them." Fast forward to today and you can easily find a dozen Bonnie Hunter patterns that call for the scrappy 4-patch units ... or more if you count the ones in her books!

The Cathedral Stars Pattern is FREE on her website and Bonnie teaches how to use both the EZ Ruler and the Tri Recs Rulers. It's also a popular workshop class that some guilds choose.

And above is one that made a lot of members' hearts go *pitter patter* - These TINY log cabin blocks finish at THREE INCHES!!!!!!!! After the show I laid my keys down on it folded up and took a photo so you could see just HOW small they really are!

aaah... she even passed around a few of the class samples for us to each look at, pet and drool over :P This is not the "Maverick Star" but very close to the one like her Maverick Quilters Web Ring logo. Love it! I'm not in the Friday workshop but these are things they will be learning and playing with. Crums, free form letters, maverick stars...

Wow those tiny sawtooth stars in the border on the right are SUPER SPECTACULAR! la,la,loved those! Can not believe it was back in Dec 2005 that I first saw and read about this one.

Here are a few more quilts from her first book Scraps and Shirttails. Did you know that one of her very "first" patterns she shared for FREE on her web page was the one called Star Struck. And the one that the link takes you too shows one made up using shirts but b/c she didn't wnat to have to remove it from her patterns on her website, she revised it a little (with the sashing) and changed the name and then was allowed to include it in her book. ;)

I currently have a Star Struck in the making ...in her origional colors the green and white with red accents. After seeing this border on the one in the trunk show I know I will want to do the same with mine. Loved it!

Virginia Bound on the LEFT and Carolina Crossroads on the RIGHT (again sorry for my poor lighting and camera settings) Click on the words left and right above to take you to her photos of them to see proper colorings. ;) Did you know that Carolina Crossroads was Bonnie's first online Mystery Quilt that she hosted on her yahoo group? At that time in her life she was moving b/c of her hubby's job change from SC up to NC..... and instead of packing she decided, "... hey, let's start a mystery! :P haha I think the name "Carolina Crossroads" is perfect don't you?

Above is "Cactus Patch" where she used up string blocks set with solid HSTs... and check out the half row on the right... :) inspired by antique quilts..... and take a look at the back side ;) They're even fun to look at. What a great way to use up more stash!

"Bow-Dacious!" and "Four Patch Revisited" have something in common... can you tell? all the 4 patches used in both quilts are color cordinated. as in 4 blues, or 4 reds... Bonnie told of having so many of these left over from Bow-Dacious that she had enough to make the 2nd quilt and use them up... and take a look at the top of the quilt on the RIGHT an extra row to change the would be square quilt into a rectangular one ;)

"Crabapples" I knew was gonna be stunning as I remembered when she first started this as her own leader/ender project a few years back and just recently saw Subee's own quilt on her blog with Bonnie holding it up... and just love these trees set on point. If I ever get around to this one, I'll do like Sue did and try to best replicate Bonnie's colors. Those poison green setting triangles and red framing borders are so rich! love them!

"Nine in the Middle" had a wonderful ole time appeal to it... at least it did for me. The cners of each 9 patch had a red fabric... something I've heard my mom talk about "Momma Newt" doing in her quilt making. ;) Don't you just love that pieced border... and take a look at those random blocks used in the backing! Love it!

And although I've purchased both Bonnie's Books - I didn't exactly remember this one "Hopscotch, Butterscotch" perhaps b/c for the past 4 months my books have been on loan to a friend... but as I sat looking at it I thought BINGO... this would be a great way to use some of the 200+ 4-patch blocks that I recently received in my latest swap... making those dark/light rail combos for each block would be easy peasy... All the hard work of making 4 patches is already DONE baby! ;)

Bonnie ended with "Classic Strippy" and then announced that she would be over at the table selling the FEW books that she had of Adventures with Leaders & Enders and signing them and that she only had ONE copy left of Scraps & Shirttails left from the morning group...

So I quickly ventured over to her table and got a quick pic taken with an outstretched arm and upside down camera :) and she signed my books! Thankfully I had already wrote to her a couple nights before and told her to save me a copy of each - this makes my 3rd time buying myself a copy of Scraps & Shirttails... I seem to keep gifting them away! and would be my 2nd copy of Adventures with Leaders & Enders... This time both of these are for my 2 eyes only! I'm not sharing or showing them to nobody! :P

And after most everyone had gone home she was taking down her Fabric Food Chain Quilt to hang up the ones for the next day's workshop and suggested us hanging my Christmas Lights and getting a photo of the two of us in front of it. I felt so flattered. THANKS BONNIE! :)

Oh and remember how I use to show a photo of me at the Chick-fil-A drive thru after guild nights? Well take a look at my NEW monthly indulgence after guild meetings before driving back home... no more chicken for me... LOL

Love from Texas!