Sunday, July 31, 2011

Wacky Bird Class With Suzanne Marshall

I was lucky enough to be able to take a class with Suzanne Marshall.  She has a quilt that is in the top 100 quilts of this century and she is an amazing hand appliquier (is that a word??)  She has a unique way of doing applique called take away applique.  When you do it this way all the pieces are on the straight of grain and placement is easy because you trace your entire applique on  lined notebook paper.  If you ever get the opportunity to take a class from her you should do it. Here are 2 of the quilts she brought with her.
GriffinBird up close
This one was one that she hung in the teacher area. It is called Long Ago and Far Away.
Long Ago and Far Away

This was Suzanne showing us how to do the applique. It is such an interesting and easy way to do needle turn applique.
Suzanne demo 04Suzanne demo 06
I chose some modern fabrics for my Wacky Bird. Everyone else chose fabrics that looked like her original birds. We stitched from 9-4:30 with an hour for lunch and this is how far I got on my bird. This is me with Suzanne and me.
Me and Suzanne

She also showed us a very unique way to make bias stems too. Cutting a bias triangle from a square. You determine how wide you want your bias and fold it over twice and press. Then. you lift up next to the fold and baste and cut the bias strip off. It was a fast easy way to make bias. I need to find out how to join the strips though! She developed this technique herself! Very interesting.
How to make bias stems
That took up my entire Friday but it was a really fun day. Then on Saturday I worked on my back for Jacquie's quilt. Then I ran some errands. Oh we also let Batman go yesterday too. He flew up on the roof and then went into a tree. Farewell Batman!! Have a wonderful life.

I did a little cleaning and came across some things I will be selling. I used to do a lot of counted cross stitch and I found some old leaflets that I know I will not do any longer, so I will show those to you tomorrow. I am hoping to have some more fabrics up for sale this week too. Now off to work on my two old Thimbleberries projects that I got back from Liz and to fix the one block that was bad in my tree top. I hope you are having a great weekend! ~XOP~

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Starting a New Project and a Swap

I feel like I am always saying I'm sorry for not posting more but life has been so crazy busy since I have been back from my dads house.  I finished the top for Jacquie before I went to GR and I was waiting to talk to her when I got back.  We finally connected on Tuesday.  She asked me to go ahead and make the back for the quilt and send it to her quilter!!!  I am soooooooo thrilled about that.  Her quilter is Angela Walters (Quilting is my Therapy) and her work is incredible!  I am adding a design element to the back that I will be working on all weekend and it is a little time consuming but I think it will make the back totally cool.  I can't wait until I can share pictures with everyone.

I participated in another swap too and sent my goodies before I left.  My swap partner was even busier than me but I got my package from her this week and it was well worth the wait!  Lookie, lookie at all these yummy goodies.
Swap package

I sent another swap out this week and will share with you when my new goodies arrive in the mail too.

Then, as if I didn't have a brain in my head, I started another project. Can you guess what it is?
Tree Up CloseStar on top of the tree
In case you can't it is the MBS Christmas Tree Pattern. It is not all sewn together but I am working on it and I got all the HST sewn into rows so far. Just not all the rows sewn together.
Beginnings of the tree

I used one charm pack of Flurry and the yardage is the aqua snow flake from Ready, Set Snow by Me and My Sister. I got everything at Crazyquiltgirl fabric shop if you want to make one too.

I did find a mistake in the pattern so need to contact for Christmas. I need to talk to the person that wrote the pattern, but overall it has been easy to make. I plan on giving this to my Zumba instructor and may make a second one for my Body Pump instructor too.

Yesterday was my class with Suzanne Marshall and it was amazing. I am off to the gym but will share it with you tomorrow. So for now have a great weekend! ~XOP~

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Summer Fair

I just discovered the Summer Fair over at Generation X Quilters.  Now I am probably too old to be part of the gen x quilt gang but I'm going to play along.  You can find out all about it here:
Gen X Quilters Summer Fair
Here is the gist of it though. Remember the county fair? Well this is like the county fair but from the comfort of your own home! More details are on their site.
I have to choose a quilt to enter into the contest too so I am choosing this little doll quilt.

Mermaid quilt

I ordered the patterns from someone on Ebay and have no idea who the artist is and can't find the info anymore so I can't even share that with you. I was inspired by a quilt I saw on Flickr here. I fell in love with that quilt and made mine in a similar way. I put it up for silent auction at a local quilt show and no one bid on it, which made me really sad. The good news was that I was able to buy it back very cheaply! So now it lives at my house.

I hope you enjoyed visiting my mermaid! Stop back again and look around when you have time. I love new visitors! ~XOP~

Of Robins and Peahens

It's like a birdfest at my house at the moment.  We have one peacock in the house (he wears a diaper) and one button quail (in a cage) and now we are the proud owners of Batman...the robin.  Yes you read that correctly, we have a baby robin at the house.  A friend of my DD1 found it and thought it was dead.  He was in the process of burrying it and it moved.  ACK, so he called her and asked her to come get it and make it live.  So Batman came to our house.  It has been with us for about a week and has doubled in size.  We hope to release it soon.  Here are a few pictures I took the other day of him.
Batman the RobinBatman the RobinBatman the Robin
It has this perpetual scowl on it's face all the time. So cute and funny. As soon as we know it can find food on it's own we will let it go.

You remember the peacocks we have right? And that Osirus is my daughters "baby"? Well she has the cutest video of her, coming when she is called and then another one of her jumping up on to her arm. Normally pea fowl are not friendly at all. This one, and her brother Blu are totally friendly, but she is especially so.

I have a photo of the quilt I was working on but left my camera at home so I will have to show you tomorrow! Also, class with Suzanne Marshall tomorrow. Can't wait! What do you have planned for the weekend?? ~XOP~

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Giveaway Win and Vintage Sheets

I won a charm pack from Amanda over at A Crafty Fox's blog.  I had the opportunity to meet Amanda in person at spring market this year.  She is such a sweetheart!  You should go and check out her blog.  I won a charm pack of Erin McMorris's Summersault.  I received it in the mail yesterday.
Summersault charm pack

I thought I would talk a little bit about my shopping at the Salvation Army (or as my Canadian friend says, "The Sally Ann". I love to pop in there when I have a minute and look for vintage sheets as well as vintage planters (which I will soon be turning into pin cushions, so stay tuned for more information on that!). It is kind of hit or miss for the sheets. This Saturday I made a major score. I could have bought even more, but I have this personal goal of not spending more than $4 on a sheet set. I did spend more on the one I ended up using for the back of the Dreamy Stars quilt (it was a set). I paid a whole $7 for the 2 sheets! Anyway, I am thinking about cutting some of the sheets up into squares and making a quilt like that...eventually, but first I have to gerbil pile some great linens! I like pillow cases for this as they are small and I can get good variety that way. Also, at the Sally ann near me, on Friday and Sat they choose a tag color and anything with that color tag can be bought in multiples of 5 for $5. If you are looking for silk, wool or linen this is a great place to look, especially at those prices!

Here is my vintage sheet score from Saturday.
Vintage sheet score

The bottom 2 are pillow cases and the top on the right is the set I used for the back of my quilt. Aren't they pretty? Do any of you use vintage sheets in your quilts? If you are a vintage sheet collector, and are looking for some different patterns let me know and maybe we can work out a swap of some sort. Hey, I wonder if there is a Flickr group for that? Swapping vintage sheets, I mean. Well, I'm off to look and see what I can find. I'll let you know if I find anything! ~XOP~

Monday, July 25, 2011

I Actually Got A Top Finished!

Now then, Saturday was a wash but I finally got some time in my sewing room on Sunday.  DH and DS were off to an air show so I had a few hours to myself and I decided that I needed to get back into my sewing room.  I was dying to get to work on a pattern that I found on the Moda Bake Shop.  It is a Christmas Tree pattern.  I chose to use a snowflake pattern for the background instead of the white they used in the pattern.  I used a charm pack of Flurry to make the HSTs that the pattern called for.  I think making HST with charm squares is so easy.  I don't like trimming all of them though!  Here is my little pile of trimmed HST and all the trimmings!  How do you feel about trumming?
The beginnings of a Christmas treeAll the HST trimmings
I like to use my turning mat when I trim. It seems to make the trimming go better.  Do you like using a turning mat?
I got this to the point where I need the space to lay it out.  Wednesday I will be bringing it to quilting and will lay it out and hopefully sew it there.  I am planning on getting this ready for a Christmas gift.

Since this was at a stopping point I decided that I should work on something else that I had in progress so I pulled out the Dreamy Stars project.  It only needed borders for the top to be finished.  So I decided to go ahead and work on that.  I managed to get the inner and then the outer border on the top and voila, it was finished!!  Now what to do for a backing.  I found 2 really cool vintage sheets to put together and use for the back.  One was a fitted sheet so I had to take the elastic off and cut off the cut ends.  I've been stalking shopping the Salvation Army for vintage sheets, which is where I found the sheets I used for the back of this quilt.

Dreamy Stars top finished

This picture doesn't even do it justice b/c it looks kind of washed out from the bright sunshine, but it is really beautiful! As I set the sheet set down, my quilt model is showing them to you! These are the 2 sheets I ended up using for the back.
Hallie "Helping" me take pictures
So, as you can see, I did manage to get a little bit done this weekend.  Next one to knock off the list is the Jelly Roll QAL quilt.  I hope I will be able to get the tree quilt done on Wed and then on to the JR quilt.  The Ann Arbor Quilt Guild is hosting a quilt university this weekend.  I am signed up to take a class from Suzanne Marshall on Friday.  It is a needle turn applique class.  I hope my hand are going to be up to it!  I took a class from her in Paducah a few years ago and she is an amazing teacher.  I'll keep you posted on these quilts so stay tuned.  ~XOP~

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Just to Catch You UP.

This week has been so rushed.  I left for Grand Rapids on Monday night after Zumba.So here goes, the Reader's Digest condensed version, ready??  My dad and sister were so happy to see me when I finally made it to their house.  My dad's new addiction is the chocolate banana shake at McDonald's so he asked me to pick one up for him on the way to their house.  Surgery was rescheduled for 2:30pm on Tuesday.  The pacemaker insertion went very well.  It was a LONG day, though.  After he was done and to his room I took my sister home.  We were exhausted.  On Wed, after he came home, he slept a long time so I decided to take my sister to the grocery store.  Three hours later we came home with the groceries!  I made manicotti for dinner and fell into bed.  Thursday was better, he was feeling a LOT better!  I decided to do some cleaning in the family room.  So I prodded my sister and made her work in that room with me.  She has a job at the White Caps baseball stadium so she left for that and I kept going.  I made dinner, did the dishes and put in laundry then continued to clean.  I ended up going through old bank statements and old photos from my grandpa's house among other things.  I kept working until I had to go and pick up my sister around 10:30pm.  I was so tired I just ended up in bed.  Friday I got up, did more laundry, mopped the kitchen floor, cut up fruit and made some more food all before I left to go home at 9am.

He was driving me crazy, so I know he was feeling much better.  Is anyone else like that?  You love your folks but 5 days is a few too many?  He is kind of a cranky old man, lots to complain about sometimes.  He hurt my feelings about my dinner on Thursday, even though I don't think he really meant to.  Why does that happen as people age?  They get kinda mean.  I hope I don't act like that as I get older.

I did manage to get some more stitched on my Birdie Stitches, although not all, so will show you that when I get all the stitching done.  That's the only "fun" stuff I did while away.

I got home of Friday and ended up going over to my friend Cori's house to mail some stuff and give her her birthday gift! Then I came home and did some cleaning at my own house.  There were a couple of swap packages waiting for me.  I am so excited to share them with you!

Farmdale SwapHR Swap
Aren't they fabulous?? I don't have any of the Rabbits and Race cars fabric so was thrilled to receive that!

My friend Very Mary also sent along a little gift, for my birthday. She is so sweet, always remembers my birthday! It is a little piece of history (a bit of a quilt) made into a necklace. Isn't it just adorable??
From Very Mary

She is the BEST!! Thanks Mary Ann.

I hope to get to work on a few things tomorrow while my men are at the air show, so will keep you posted on how that goes. Thanks for staying with me and being patient as I prattle on about things not quilt related, although very life relevant!

I went to the gym today for 2 hours, I got there and Body Pump was cancelled so I went to the Salvation Army and did some shopping.  I will share that with you tomorrow.  Zumba, then my Zumba instructor asked me if I wanted to stay for Body Pump as she had the DVD, so the 2 of us did that together and that was fun!

I think I am caught up on cleaning here so should get to sew tomorrow.  Thank you for all your love and support!  You have no idea how much I appreciate it!  Sometimes it is difficult to be the one with the broadest shoulders and the responsibility to take care of everyone else.  Have a great weekend and I will be back to talk with you later!!  ~XOP~

Monday, July 18, 2011

Weekend Update

Do you remember the Weekend Update from SNL?  As I typed that I had to laugh.  When I was young I loved to stay up to watch that show!

My weekend was filled with cleaning, and watering and working on Jacquie's test quilt.  It is *finally* all finished!  I was so happy when I finished it yesterday!  I love it.  My sewing table opens up more than I usually have it open (I take up so much room I just can't bear to take it all up!) and this quilt turned out larger than I had expected so, for the first time ever, I opened the table all the way up.  It was so much help.  I chose to use a lot of white and with 5 cats and a black dog you can imagine all the pet hair.  I swiffered (is that a word??) but...I just don't trust it.  This kept the entire thing up and off the floor while I was working.  My DH walked into the room and said, "Pretty! and the quilt's nice too"  Isn't that sweet?

The biggest push was to get everything ready to leave for the rest of the week.  My dad is going to get a pacemaker put in on Tuesday morning.  So I will make the 2.5 hour commute and get him to the hospital, do the laundry, grocery shopping, get him home and settled back in, do some cooking and more cleaning before I come home at the end of the week.  WHEW!  I'm thankful he has a/c since it is supposed to be near 100F at the end of the week.

I saw this framed fabric piece at a show awhile ago and I am trying to make this my mantra!
Robin picture
"Do no great things...only small things with great love. "

I know how much my dad appreciates me being there and helping.  I wish we lived closer so I could go more frequently, but it is just not prudent at 2.5 hours away.  He is always so happy when I cook for them.  I would bring him food if we were closer.  I guess I will have to settle for making it and freezing it so he can pull it out when he wants to.

I will be taking my Birdie Stitches to try to catch up and maybe a small little something to sew, JIC I happen to have time, LOL.  It will probably sit in the car though.  He doesn't have Wifi so no use of my computer, no uploading photos so maybe no blogging or boring blogging anyway since no pics.  Please, dedicated followers, don't leave me this week.  I promise to be right back at it when I get home.  In fact, I have a long list of almost done things I am dying to get to so you will have loads of photos coming soon, promise.  I may not always respond to every comment but I read them all and appreciate them more than you can know!  Stay well and keep in touch.  ~XOP~

Friday, July 15, 2011

Spending The Day With My Friends

You probably all want to know about the HP movie don't you?  It was freaking AMAZING!!  The 3D glasses were just like Harry Potter's!!  The movie was so exciting, but my butt is draging today.  We got to the theater around 8:30pm to see the Deathly Hollows pt 1 only to realize that pt2 was in a different theater and there was already a line and no way to save us a seat or place in line to get a good seat!!  They didn't think about that very well!  So DD1 got her ticket refunded and got in the line for us.  Wasn't that sweet?  She wanted me to see it since it was for my bday.  She was already seated when my movie let out so I went and found her and we had great seats!

We ended up home around 2:30am and she says, "Mom?  Will you help me make white chicken chili?"  How could I say no when she had waited in line for 3 hours for us to save our seats?  Of course I helped her, so bed was at 3am and then I got up at 6:30am to go to Checker with Cori (Crazy Quilt Girl).  I had not heard from my dad so we were set to leave around 7:30am, except I didn't realize I was supposed to call her and let her know until about 15 minutes waiting and it dawned on me to check my phone!  LOL.  So we finally got on our way and headed out.  I love Checker!  It is a fabric clearing house where quilt shops can buy fabric, notions, threads etc.  Her order was ready for some Lynette Anderson Scandinavian Christmas, and my personal favorite Tula Pink's Prince Charming.  So if you are in need of either of those lines, go over to her shop and pick some up.  Oh, and she has listed her Sample Spree fabrics too so if you want to get some of the amazing fabrics from Moda before others, hurry on over her shop (Like Little Apples and Ruby, two of my personal favorites). I did get to see Wrenly and I am in love with the dandelion print in ALL the color ways!!   I got a few fabric cards from the line From Little Things that I have up on Flickr for swap if anyone is interested let me know.

Pauline (Quilting Queen or QNQ) had lunch ready for us and so we drove to her house to have a wonderful lunch.  That lady sure knows how to put on a spread! We looked over the ordered goodies and they gave me my birthday gifts!  Cori got me a book I had been wanting.  I am considering (later) running a QAL of this one.  Let me know if anyone might want to do it too.
Sylvia's Bridal Sampler

I am considering doing this one in Bliss. Wouldn't that be beautiful??

Then Quilting Queen gave me this amazing bag (Opal Owl)
Opal Owl bag

Inside the bag were some antique jars with a crown on them and "made in Canada" on them. They are so cool especially to put neat things like thread or notions in. Also, a Beam and Read, which is a new gadget that magnifies and lights your work area. So cool!!
Canadian JarsBeam and Read
I have the BEST friends ever, don't you think?

My friend, Quilting Queen, QNQ, is having a giveaway to celebrate her one year blogiversayy. Man-O-Man is it a good one too!! She is giving away a FQ bundle of Lil and Will (Bunny Hill) in the yellow colorway. You should go on over there right now and enter for a chance to win, tell her Mama Spark sent you. I just love Bunny Hill's fabric, so sophisticated!  I just love Quilting Queen too!!

Now I wanted to show you the beautiful card my DD2 sent to me for my birthday.  She is in NC looking for a place to live for grad school but she sent a wonderful card.  Even nicer than the card was the fact that she started it out by "I just wanted to wish my BEST FRIEND happy birthday!"  It just warms a mama's heart!  My girls are the BEST too.
Amazing Owl card
Now an update on my dad. He called today to tell me that his pacemaker surgery is scheduled for Tuesday at 11:30am. Please pray for him to come through it well. That means I will probably won't be blogging most of next week. So, if you don't hear from me, don't worry!

I hope you are all well and that you have a wonderful weekend. ~XOP~

Thursday, July 14, 2011

More Birthday Love

Last night I went over to my friend, Cori's house.  She is the owner of Crazy Quilt Girl's online fabric shop but she has been my friend for a long time.  She was going to help me lay out a quilt so I could do some arranging without the help of the 5 cats and the dog and all their hair!  Let me tell you this, I can't show it to you yet, but it is a beauty.  It should be!  It took us 4 and a half hours to get it ready for me to take home to finish!!  More about that later though, when I can actually show you some photos, ok?

In the mean time, as I was leaving she gave me a card that absolutely cracked me up.  It's funny I saw the card recently when I was looking for a birthday card and really wanted to buy it for someone.  It was something to the effect that there was no birthday cake because the Democrats gave it to all the people that weren't lucky enough to have a birthday today!! LOLOLOL!!!!!  She really knows me!  My gift actually ended up to be a wonderful book.  I will show you in the next post, my mistake!!

Cori handed me another card with a gift cert in it from my friend, Annie (to Cori's shop of course!)  In addition to all that my friend and LAQ Liz gave me this nifty little tool, in PINK!
Utility tool from Liz for my bdayUtility tool case
It even had a cute little case to put it in and let me tell you what, that little light could burn your retina out!! Thanks you guys, you are all the BEST!!

My DD1 and I are going out to see the first half of the last Harry Potter movie followed by the midnight showing of the new and final part 2!!  We are going to go to get some 5 hour energy drinks too and I think I will have to nap!  I'll let you know how it goes.

Tomorrow Cori, QNQ and I are all going to Checker to pick up Cori's store order.  It's a little over an hour away and we always have fun.  We might even  hit a quilt show on the way home, I know there is one close to where we are going.  Will have to see, I know Cori has to get back to mind the shop!

So you see the birthday fun continues!

On a different note, I just heard from my sister and my dad will need to get a pacemaker installed.  I'm actually glad to hear that, I was so worried about his low heart rate (as low as 44!)  Anyway just thought you might like to know how he was doing.

Have a wonderful night, I know I will.  Aren't friends the best?
My DD's are pretty special too!   ~XOP~

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Day After

I just wanted to take a minute to thank everyone for their kind birthday wishes!  My day was really nice and very low key, but at my age that's a good thing, LOL!

You may remember that I made a quilt top for Anne Sutton of Bunny Hill Designs for spring quilt market this year.  I got to use her Puttin' on the Ritz fabrics in the gray color way.  Beautiful fabrics.  In case you missed it this is what the quilt looked like, (without the borders).
My Quilt for Market
You can see my quilt on the chair in the middle of the booth in the back.  If you click on it it should enlarge.

I was at my friend, Cori's house last week (Crazy Quilt Girl)and she had the new Bunny Hill patterns in stock. So I picked up the one of the quilt I made and here's what was on the back.
Putting on the Ritz pattern

Yeah! My name is on the pattern!! The pattern is called All Dressed UpQNQ's quilt made the front cover, b/c Anne liked the border better than the one she chose for the gray quilt, but mine is on the back.  (I just didn't think about taking a picture of that!) I will get a photo later in the week to show you.

I'm afraid that's all I have for now. Still working on the quilt for Jacquie. I'm at the laying it all out, pinning parts down and doing the hand work. I am hoping to get that done on Wed night instead of going to quilting. Wish me luck, it's almost done!! I might even be able to show it to you once it is all finished, I'll have to check and see if it is alright. Have a wonderful day and thanks again for all the wonderful birthday wishes! ~XOP~

Monday, July 11, 2011

Happy Birthday!

Yep, it was my birthday today.  I decided to embrace it! LOL.  I went to work today and my friend Hiro called from Japan to wish me a happy birthday.  I have to say the second one to wish me a happy birthday was LTW when she called me and sang her rendition of Happy Birthday!  Gotta love her.  I found out that the little restaurant near work had a buy one get one free!  My other friends called or texted me today too.  I came home and went to the Verizon store for, dun dun dunnnnnn, A NEW PHONE!!!  Not just any phone, but an iPhone.  Here she is.

New iPhone

I am so thrilled!!! I can't wait to spend sometime getting to know her. I plugged her in to charge and plan on spending some quality time with her tomorrow.

I went to Zumba and my friends wished me a happy birthday there too. I came home and showered and just made some left overs for dinner (the whole family went out on Thursday). DD1 bought me this amazing dessert for my birthday "cake". Do you like Tiramitsu? It's my favorite!

It was so HUGE I could only eat half!!

It was a good birthday! Low key and relaxed. DD1 and I are going to see the new Harry Potter on Thursday. We are going to see part one at 9pm and then the new one at the midnight showing!! I am so excited to do that. I'm going to come home and nap then maybe a 5 hour energy drink!! I don't usually stay up that late!! Cori, Pauline and I are going out together early on Friday morning too I'm going to be a mess!! Oh well, it's going to be GREAT!! ~XOP~