Sunday, December 19, 2010


I'm sitting on a plane on the way back from New York.  They now have planes with Wi-Fi right on board....HOW COOL IS THAT???  My fantastic, wonderful, too-good-to-be-true husband took me to New York so I could see what she looks like all dressed up for Christmas.  He needed to visit a property for business and took me along for the ride.  It was truly a magical sight.  We arrived Thursday afternoon and after depositing the bags at the hotel, we headed off to Rockefeller Center to see the tree.  It was gorgeous!  I don't have photos of it, (they are on G's phone, I'll try to post those later).  We watched the skaters, went in a GIANT Lego store, saw where the Today Show is broadcast and then headed off to a wonderful Italian meal at Il Vagabondo.  All I have to say is..... Yum!  I had a chicken dish in a white wine butter sauce with sautéed spinach and G had Osso Bucco.  It is the tiniest little restaurant with a Bocce Ball dirt court right down the middle of the place.  The crowning glory of the meal was the Bocce Ball desert!  O.M.G.  Chocolate and vanilla gelato around a cherry and nuts, formed into a ball and then the whole thing dipped in dark chocolate.  I want another one right now!  If you are in New York, I would highly recommend checking this little place out.

The next morning it was off to the subway so we could go see Wall Street.  Riding the subway is surprisingly easy and the people watching is fantastic!

It was really, really cold!  I mean really cold!  We walked down to the NY Stock Exchange and G. took some awesome pictures.  (By the way, all of the pics in this post were taken by G.)
Next stop was Battery Park and after that we debated whether or not to ride the ferry out to see The Statue of Liberty.  We finally decided to wait since it was so bitterly cold and the tickets to go inside her were sold out.  Next trip....
This sculpture was in Battery Park.  It used to be at the World Trade Center and was damaged in the explosion.  It's been moved to the park and in front of the statue is an "eternal flame" as a tribute to all who lost their lives that day.  They moved the statue and lit the flame on the one year anniversary of the attack.  It's really hard to believe that it has been ten years since 9/11.  
We went by to see "Ground Zero" and it's a buzz of activity these days.  There were some pretty cool drawings of what they plan to do.  G made the comment that it felt to him as if they were saying, "we will never forget what happened here, but it's time to stop being sad and show that we are moving on to new and exciting things".   He had been before, not long after it happened and told me it was a somber and eerie sight.  I had been to the city one other time and the towers were still there.  I could not help but notice the huge amount of empty space in the skyline since the last time I was there.  It was quite odd.

Well, there is much more to tell.  But lest I bore you with too long a post, I'll follow in a day or so with more of the adventure.  I SO enjoyed myself and NY in the winter is amazing.  But, I have to say it will be very good to be back home and to be in my own bed tonight.  And to see and hug Rex the Wonderdog and Max the kitty!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Drawing a Blank

I sat down at my computer several times over the last few days to write a new blog post and every time, I came up blank on what to say.  It's kind of like when you have been exercising consistently and then you stop....and can't find it in you to get started again.  That happened to me with my blogging.  I was cooking along fairly consistently and then I missed about 10 days and then I couldn't get started again.  I just felt like I had nothing to say.  Two weeks ago, I woke up with vertigo and had to spend three days in bed.  The vertigo is gone, but I still am not feeling 100%.  Between that and trying to get ready for the holidays, I have had little time at my sewing machine and you have heard me whine about that!  I am almost ready for Christmas (a bit more shopping to do and probably a marathon wrapping day).  The house is decorated (as much as it's going to be this year) and it's been relatively cold here this week so I'm finally in the Holiday Spirit.  And I finally felt like I had something to write about.

The officers of DMQG had a little get together last weekend and we all brought one handmade gift.  The challenge was to try and devote an hour or less to this creation.  I think I went a little over, but I sure had fun making this little mug rug, or potholder, or mini quilt.  I guess it could be used for just about anything.  I neglected to photograph the finished product, but here's a shot of it in progress.  I stipple quilted it and bound it in green.  We had a really great time and I ended up with the cutest tomato pincushion made by Lisa.

And I got my Winter Wonderland Quilt back from The Sometimes Crafter!  She did an amazing job and I took it to the DMQG meeting to show it off.  It's hanging in my house right now!  So cute.  I am so happy with the results on this quilt.  It was a TON of work, but loads of fun.

I am really happy that I sent this one out to be quilted.  It's fairly large to quilt on my Bernina and Christina did such a creative job with the quilting.  I'm getting more confident in my free motion quilting, but I could never have done this good a job.  I'll post more closeups on my Flickr page once I take some more shots.  I need to take it outside and get some really good shots with decent light so you can see the awesome quilting.

Off to wrap some gifts so I can have something under the tree.....

Sunday, November 28, 2010


I'm filled up with it....gratitude that is.  I had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday.  I had five days off work, I spent time with family at my cousins house in Oklahoma, I sewed a LOT, I relaxed.  Ahh......what an amazing life I have.  I am a very lucky woman with many blessings.  I have a husband who loves me dearly, a home I love, family close by, loads of wonderful friends and time to sew.  What more could a girl ask for?

On Thanksgiving Day, I got to see my 94 year old grandmother and her younger sister.  They are such fun women and a joy to be around.  Their mother lived to be 103.  I come from a family of women that live long, healthy lives.  My great grandmother died in her sleep at 103 and was still incredibly alert.
My son drove down for the day and it was good to see him and spend time with him.
And, on top of all of these blessings, I won a giveaway from Daisy Janie.  I won Giveaway #5!  I won these two eight foot panels.  What shall I make with these?  The fabric has a wonderful hand to it.  It is from her Geo Grand line and I won the Ogee and Caravan panels.  The colors are fabulous!
What a box of loveliness!  It was a happy mail day on Saturday.

Thanks to all of you who show up here to read my blog and leave your much appreciated comments.  It's been almost a year since I started blogging and I am continually amazed at the worlds it has opened up in my life.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

You complete me

I have been in a mode of finishing up loose ends lately.  I have just not felt "right" about starting new projects with so many lonely little WIP looking down on me from the shelves of my studio.  It has felt very cathartic to be wrapping up all the little loose ends.  Don't get me wrong, I have a TON of new projects in my head that I am dying to dive into!  And all those new lines of fabric about to come out in a month or so.....DON'T get me started!  (Like Central Park, Parisville, Sherbet Pips, Shades of Grey, to name a few!) So, I thought I would take the next few weeks to complete a few WIP's.  I was really tired of my normal puzzle piece type of stippling, so I used a completed baby quilt top that I finished um......7 years ago (gulp)and this is what I came up with:
It was initially for a charity quilt drive for a guild I used to belong too.  Their requirements were polyester batting (yuk, but it is safer for kids?)  Anyway that is why it is such a poofy look, but I kind of like the quilting design.  I just love the way my new machine does free motion.  No pulling of the stitches on the back!  Yeah!  This quilt is on the machine right now and about 1/3 finished.

I'm liking this design as well.  It's really fun to just start playing.  I find free motion quilting very soothing.  Very.  Soothing....

It's funny, my tasted have changed dramatically over the last couple of years, but I still am really having fun working on these old projects.  I am totally excited about the Winter Wonderland Quilt I blogged about here.  After much debate in my head, I decided to have that one professionally quilted.  It's a pretty good size and it took me over a year to do all of the redwork.  I did not want to take a chance that I wouldn't be happy with the quilting I did on it.  So, I sent it on over to Christina to work her magic on it.  I am excited beyond words to get it back and see what's she's done with it.  She gave us all a little preview of it yesterday.  It looks awesome!  And I felt a little famous having my quilt on her blog!

As a little tease, there will be one new quilt coming in the next couple of weeks that is a new pattern that my business partner Lisa designed.  Remember this lovely stack of fabrics I purchased at the Trinity Valley Quilt Show?  Well, I'm going to use it to sew up Lisa's pattern.  She sketched it out and I used Electric Quilt to make it into a working pattern.  I hope to start work on that over this long Thanksgiving weekend. My bosses decided to close the office tomorrow so I have five whole days off work!  We will be with family in Oklahoma on Thursday, but otherwise, I hope to be at my machine.  How about you?  What are your plans for this long holiday weekend?

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Problem Solved

Earlier this week I was telling you about the Nicey Jane quilt I worked on at the retreat.  I wanted so badly to have the top completed when I left the retreat and in my singleminded-rush to get it finished at the last minute I cut the borders about 6 inches too short.  And I did not have any more fabric to cut new ones.  So, after I got home and unloaded everything from the retreat, I laid it out to assess the damage and find a solution.  I love to solve a problem.  As far back as I can remember, I view them as a puzzle and always believe there is a solution in there somewhere.  Don't you just love that feeling when you figure something out that's been nagging at the back of your mind.  Okay, I digress....this wasn't nagging at the back of my mind, it was screaming at me in the face.  I waited so long to find the perfect project for the Nicey Jane fabric.  I love every piece of this fabric.  I don't often like the entire line of any fabric, but this one is an exception.  It's evokes a happy, carefree feeling every time I look at it.  So, I was quite distressed when I messed up the borders.  Here's what I was left with as my problem to solve:

See, too short!  And I SO wanted to miter the border on this one.  I am planning a scalloped edge for this border and I thought using a miter instead of a "log cabin" type border would look so much better.  And, with the way I cut these borders, I didn't even have room to do the log cabin type.  So, I sat and thought and looked at it and walked away and came back and looked at it again......
Voila!  Problem solved!  And I think I like it just as much as a mitered border.  I went ahead and serged the edges of this since I am planning on hand quilting this one.  The fabric was already starting to fray pretty badly, especially with all of the messing around with it trying to fix the borders.  Then, I pinned the whole thing to my bedroom floor and sat down to baste it.  Since I am going to hand quilt, I wanted to thread baste instead of pin basting, and I thought "no big deal, can't take that much longer than pin basting, right?"  WRONG!  It took a total of 4 hours to get this sucker thread basted.  It felt like I should have it quilted in that amount of time!  And don't even get me started on how sore my butt is from crawling around on all fours for that amount of time.  I cannot wait to see this one complete!  I am SO excited!!!

I also finally finished my October bee block on the retreat and got it in the mail this week.  I came home from retreat with a great case of bronchitis, so it's been a slow quilting week at Tapestry Tree!  The NKOTB Bee is talking the month of November off and then it's my month.  I am still a tad bit undecided about what I'm going to send out.....better decide soon and get the fabric cut and packaged up!

Sunday, November 7, 2010


I just spent four whole days on retreat and it was awesome!  The DMQG hosted their first annual retreat at the Compass Centre.  If you haven't been there, it's really a great retreat center.  Melissa is an amazing host that has thought of everything.  The meals were great (not to mention it was so nice to just sit and sew and have no meals to worry about or dishes to wash), the beds were comfortable, the sewing area fully equipped and a shop right on site!  It is down in Mt. Calm (just east of West as a friend of mine delights in saying!)  And look what sits right out front:
He looks like he is saying...."What??" or maybe "Hey, what was that?"  I love him and wish he sat in my front yard!  The weather was perfect all weekend, but I never poked my nose outside!  I sewed and sewed and sewed some more.  I worked on a quilt that was a kit I bought over five years ago.  And I spent almost a full day on this little item:
Long story, but this was a little kit that I also bought about five years ago had never taken out of the package.  I pulled it out to bring on this retreat and worked most of Thursday evening on the little log cabins.  But, they were not these little log cabins.  The fabric in the kit was awful!  It was some thirty repros, which I usually adore, but these were terrible choices.  They were ugly, but even worse, they were all medium value and the wrong scale for such little pieces.  But still, I pushed on making each of the four miniature log cabins.  When I was finished, they didn't even look like log cabins!  I just couldn't bring myself to spend any more time on them, but now I was obsessed with completing this kit!  I have a challenge to win!  Like any good retreater (word?), I had packed plenty of fabric to take with me.  So, I used a little tiny "baby" charm pack of It's a Hoot.  I just love how this came out.  It made me happy every time I looked over at it sitting there so cute on my sewing table.

Several months ago, I bought a fat quarter bundle of the entire line of Nicey Jane because I loved it so much.  LOVED it.  And then I spend all of those months trying to find the perfect project to use the fabric.  Every time I would think I had found the ideal quilt, I just couldn't bring myself to cut into the fabrics.  Ever do that?  I was at a Saturday Sew with Lisa and she was hand quilting a quilt that I suddenly knew would be perfect done in Nicey Jane.  It is an American Jane pattern called Popsicle Posies.  It calls for three charm packs, so I pre-cut my charms before retreat.  I laid out the blocks on the fabulous design wall on Friday night and they looked like this:
I worked on this quilt most of the day Saturday and it looked like this:
I love the way it's turning out!  I am probably more excited about this quilt than any I have worked on in the last year.  Today, I added borders and then it was time to pack up and go home.  In my rush, I cut the borders too short and had to come up with a work around.  More about that in the days to come.

As I sat there last night feeling a little sad that the weekend was almost over, I looked around the room at the groups of women clustered together chatting, sewing, sharing ideas and snacking on foods they normally don't allow themselves to eat, I was overwhelmed with gratitude at the new friends I have made over the last nine months or so.  I love the sound of women's voices laughing, and sharing their passions.  I got to know all of these women a little more over the last three days and let them know a little more about me.  We shared ideas and inspiration, we cried on one another shoulders, we laughed til we cried.  It's a wonderful thing......

Monday, November 1, 2010

Well, I did it!

I attended my first Quilt Market!  And it was SO cool to be there.  I saw some amazing things, got great ideas was generally awe-inspired.  But, my feet are tired!  Wow!  That's a really big show.  I have been to the International Quilt Festival many times, but it has been several years since I went.  I had forgotten how large that place is.
Look!  I made a photo collage!  Some scenes from Market.  I was pretty proud that I figured out how to do this little collage.  Okay, I can admit it to you guys.....Photoshop intimidates me.  I always have to ask G how to do anything in it.  So, today I sat down and worked on it until I figured it out.  Yeah!

See that cute teapot/cup fabric up there?  It's from the Echino booth.  Isn't it cute??  And I really want to make that Amy Butler raincoat out of some laminated cotton.  Here are a couple of other shots from Market.  There were a lot of new lines that we are interested in adding to the shop.

I am busy the rest of this week packing projects for the quilt retreat!  The Dallas Modern Quilt Guild is hosting their first annual retreat at the Compass Centre.  It's going to be three whole days of sewing, sewing, sewing!  I hope to bring a few WIP's and maybe one new project.  I really want to bring all new projects, but I've got a challenge from G to get WIP's done!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Look where you're going

I have been very busy quilting this week.  I really love doing free motion quilting.  I find it terribly relaxing.  I finished up the Matchbox quilt and immediately moved on to a quilt that has been waiting patiently in the wings for (I'm so embarrassed to admit this) gulp....almost three years.  I am embarrassed because when G and I first started dating, he was so amazed that I quilted and at the things I created.  One day when I was out picking out fabric for a new project, he said he would like to give it a try in order to understand my passion a little better.  So, he picked a pattern and the fabric and came home and went to work.  I gave him a little guidance and instruction in rotary cutting and piecing, matching points, etc.  Within two days he had a completed quilt top!
Pretty amazing, huh?  (He's a pretty amazing guy and I'm lucky he picked me to be married to!)  I think he did an outstanding job.  He was not quite ready to tackle the quilting on this big boy, so I kept telling him I would be happy to do it.  He got busy and designed the pattern of quilting he would like on it and bought a stencil for the blocks.  He even bought me the John Flynn Frame and loaded up a cheater panel and quilted that himself!  So, this week I finally started quilting it for him.  I did not use the Flynn Frame he bought, it intimidates me.  I have been doing free motion on my home machine for many years.  And it is always hard to learn something new.  I usually do plain old stippling, drop the feed dogs and meander away.  So, when I tried to follow the stencil that G bought, I could not follow those chalk lines to save my life!  I kept going all over the place.  Everything was all wobbly.

Well, what I finally realized was that it's just like driving!  You know how when you are driving, if you start looking at something by the side of the road your car just starts going right toward what you are looking at?  Well, that was the secret!  I just started looking a little bit ahead at the line where I wanted the needle to stitch on and voila!  stayed right on the line every time!  Brilliant!

This one looks much better, I think.  

As I write this, I am sitting in my hotel room in Houston.  Tomorrow is Quilt Market.  I have never been before (never qualified to get in before this year, you have to be a retailer or in the industry) and I'm a bit nervous about what to expect.  But, my business partner Lisa is going with me and it always feels better to go with someone you know!  Hopefully, we will find lots of great fabric for the shop and some great ideas for kits and projects as well.  I'll take lots of pictures and post our progress.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Back in the Saddle Again

Have I mentioned that I love my new machine?  Well, she's not quite so new anymore but I love her more every day.  And especially every time I free motion quilt (or straight line quilt, or piece a quilt......).  The stitch regulator that came with my machine does such a beautiful job of keeping the stitch even on the front and the back.  I heart it so much!  And I really love doing free motion quilting.  I find it so soothing and rhythmic.  And I love to watch the layers of pieced fabric, batting and backing slowly become a quilt.  So, here is the project I'm currently working on (which is one of my favorite ones so far)

I'm so excited to see this one complete.  I'm hoping it can become a class at the Bernina store where I teach.   I'm going to submit it for consideration, anyway.  It's made from a pattern by Abbey Lane Quilts called Matchbox.  The majority of the fabrics in this quilt are from "Breath of Avignon" by American Jane Patterns by Sandy Klop.  It is such a happy quilt, I think.  I tried a new product for this quilt called Heat Press Batting Together (odd name, I think) It is a fine mesh fusible product that is about two inches wide.  What you do is lay your batting scraps together, butted right up to one another but not overlapping at all.  Then, you press this product over the seam.  It's super thin and light weight and once I had the quilt layered up, you couldn't even tell that I had used four different pieces of batting.  Pretty cool!  In order to make sure I had the seams completely smooth, I laid the whole thing out on the floor.  Then, I didn't want to try and pick those pieces up and move them to the ironing board so I plugged the iron into a long extension cord and crawled around on the floor ironing the seams!  Oh well, whatever works, right?

G was out of town for this past week and when he was packing last Sunday night, this is where Max ended up:
He sort of looks like he's saying "Um, you're not leaving without.....Me!"  I kind of felt the same way.  But, he's back home so I'm happy.  When he has a trip planned I always think "yeah, I can sew, sew, sew" but then I miss him so bad!  Then again, I really appreciate him all the more when he gets back home.  All is well in my world tonight.  Tomorrow I'm headed to a craft fair with a friend and then a baby shower for one of my business partners in the afternoon.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Bee Blocks and Busy-ness

Oh my....I mailed my September block for the New Kid on the Block bee. Yep, it was really late.  Yep, I'm not happy about that.  I am trying to do way too many things right now and it's stressful, but I am having a blast!  This block was a lot of fun.  My assignment was to make a block that was 5" by 48".  Yes, you read that right....5 x 48.  We each got a color (YEAH!  I got orange!) with instructions to do whatever we wanted within the size boundaries.  She is going to put them all together with charcoal sashing strips.  I cannot wait to see her finished quilt.  You can see the progress on the Flickr group.  I used EQ7 to work on my ideas.  I started with this
which became this
and finally, the block looks like this,
I finished a quilt top last weekend and even have it layered up and ready to baste.  I love this quilt so far.  I am so excited to get this one quilted and show you the completed project.  I really thought I would have it finished by now, I was so excited to start on it after I got it basted.  Here are the strip sets for the sashing.
I have super busy this week listing items in the Etsy shop for Urban Spools.  Well, at least at night after I get home from my full time job.  I really, really want this to find a way to do what I really love full time.  I keep thinking about how short life really is and I don't want to spend my days watching the clock so I can go home and do what I really love.  I try very hard to focus on the fact that it's not a bad job, it's a pretty nice work environment and the people are very nice.  I think I am closer now than I ever have to been.  I believe when you have a passion, you should follow it.  It took me many years of my life to really discover my passion.  I think there are probably a lot of people that don't know what their passion is.  I feel blessed to have discovered mine.  So, I'm going to sign off and go get busy doing what I love!  Are you doing what you love?

Monday, October 11, 2010

A Hint of Fall + An Announcement

I love, love, love this time of year!   We have cool mornings and bearable afternoons, and there is that promise of cooler days ahead.  And turning leaves and family getting together for holidays.  It's a great time of year.  I had a booth at the Urban Street Bazaar along with Lisa.   The weather was lovely (perfect, really)  I was a little sad because it was the last one:(.  But, in it's place is something equally as exciting!  More about that later....

(photos courtesy of Vintage Modern Quilts)  Not only did we have a lot of fun, we sold quite of bit of our wares.  I sold a quilt!  And Lisa sold 4!  Isn't that the cutest chair in the entryway of the booth?  Lisa upcycled that.  And it was the official launch of a new business venture for me.  I have two wonderful partners: Lisa and Amanda.  Together, we have formed Urban Spools!!!!  I know!  Can you believe it??  This has been a dream of mine for over a decade.  I met these two great women this past spring when we all got together to form the Dallas Modern Quilt Guild.  It has been such an amazing journey and everything has fallen into place so quickly that it's hard for me to believe.  Right now, we are starting small with an online store for fabric.  What makes us different than all of the other online fabric stores you ask?  Well, we are specializing in fabric with a modern twist for one thing.  We will also have a strong focus on custom pre-cuts and we will be carrying quilt kits as well.  Check out our cool logo banner that my fantastic husband got for us as a "business warming" gift!

Lisa designed our logo and I LOVE IT!  It's so cute!!!  The three of us are having so much fun with this.  It's been challenging at times since we all have full time jobs and Amanda is expecting a new addition to her family next month, but it sure is an exciting adventure.  We have more announcements coming in the very near future, so stay tuned.

And, I have been finding time to sew.  There will be quilts coming up to discuss very soon as well.  And....last but not least, we still need to name my new Bernina......ideas, anyone?  I have a name I have been bouncing around in my head, but I want to see what you all have to say first...

Thursday, September 30, 2010

What I'm up to

About 5'2"....hahahhahahahha!  Okay, it's late and I have been SO busy this week that I am getting a little goofy.  It seems that things all end up in the same week so often, dontcha think?  I think I have been running non stop since last weekend.  I taught another class at Bernina of Dallas, (another one coming up next Saturday), spent last Sunday preparing for the Urban Street Bazaar with Lisa over at Vintage Modern Quilts.  We have a booth at the Bazaar!!!!  I'm so excited and I hope you will stop by and see us.  It's going to be a beautiful weekend and there are over 60 vendors scheduled to participate.

I have spent the last two days attending a conference for my day job so I can get the continuing ed hours I need to keep my license.  Wow!  It's a very dry subject and anytime I have to sit still in one place, it just about kills me!  I like to be moving around during my day, not sitting in the same chair for hours on end.   I'm just sayin......and it's really bad timing cause I need to be busy getting ready for the bazaar.

Next weekend, I am teaching the Disappearing Nine Patch technique at Bernina of Dallas.  If you want to brush up on your skills, or just come hang out with some quilty buddies, I hope you will call and sign up.

I sure do love that the weather has cooled off.  I had had just about enough of that stinkin 90 degree, humid as all get out, make me want to hurt something weather!  This weather reminds me of that joyous week I spent in San Francisco this summer.  And speaking of, I thought I would share a few more images of that trip(since I have no new crafty pics to share with you...)

This is the base of the coolest statue I saw as I was walking through the city one day.  Wouldn't that make a really cool quilting pattern?  Kind of like pebble quilting....
Here is the rest of her, isn't she just amazing??
There will be more crafty posts coming soon, I do have a quilt or two in the works and hope to be posting progress on those after the bazaar is over this weekend.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Progress and a Class

I have been busy working on the Match Box quilt this week.  I actually got a great start on it at the Saturday Sew for the Dallas Modern Quilt Guild.  If you are in the Dallas area, we would love to have you come join us some weekend.  You can check the schedule for the next one here.  So, here is what it looked like on Saturday:
I got quite a bit more done on it today and I hope to be able to show you a completed quilt top in the next few days.  

Sunday I went to the Trinity Valley Quilt Show with some quilty friends from DMQG and we had the best day!  It is so fun to hang out with women that share my interests and passions.  It's such a nice feeling to know I am not the only one always designing a quilt in my head or dreaming about the next line of fabric coming out soon.....and look at my goodies from the show

It's a lovely stack of Kaffe Fasset Shot Cottons that I purchased from Cabbage Rose Quilting.  They had a booth at the show, but they are located over in Fort Worth.  Isn't that the most gorgeous stack you have ever seen?  I am thinking of doing a quilt just using those fabrics, no prints.  They are so soft and drapey, almost like a voile.  The little gray stack are reproduction prints from the Civil War era, but I think they look very modern.  I have been designing an orange and gray quilt in my head for awhile and slowly collecting the fabrics for it.  These will add some nice texture to my current stash.  

I have a very busy week ahead.  I'm teaching a couple of classes at Bernina of Dallas this week.  Saturday is part two of the "I Never Thought I'd be a Quilter" class and next Saturday I will be teaching the Disappearing Nine Patch class again.  Back by popular demand!  Okay, maybe not, but I like saying that phrase.  I did have a couple of requests to offer it again and it felt really nice to know that people enjoyed it enough to tell their friends about it.  Here's a sneak peak at that quilt.


If you aren't doing anything on Saturday, October 9th at 9:30, come join us for some quilty fun.  We would love to see you!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

New Projects

I love starting new projects!  It's so exciting!  A fresh beginning, such endless possibilities, anticipation.  I have been working on a couple of projects over the last couple of weeks.  For the first one, I started with this:
My favorite is the bird fabric in the middle, it's Bird Seed by Alexander Henry.  And I ended up with this:

It was way too dark to be trying to take this picture, but you get the general idea.  I'll take better shots after I get it quilted.  I know I should have gone ahead and done that step next, but I was so excited about this fabric I picked up a couple of weeks ago that I couldn't wait to start in on that you ever do that?
This is fabric from several lines, but the bulk of it is from American Jane's Breath of Avignon.  It is not my normal palette or style, but I just love this fabric.  The pattern I am using calls for a layer cake, a charm pack and a jelly roll.  The quilt shop I found this at did not have any of the precuts, so I calculated what I would need in yardage and cut my own.  It didn't take as long as I thought it would, maybe a couple of now it looks like this:
I'll be posting more shots as I go, but I'm working on MatchBox by Abbey Lane Quilts.  It's an adorable quilt that is sewing up pretty quickly, but I found a pretty big error in the pattern.  It has you cut the strips 1/2" too big.  When you look at the large number of strips in this quilt, that's a lot of fabric waste.  I didn't figure this out until after I had done all of the cutting and started sewing the blocks.  A little frustrating.  I would think that a pattern designer would have someone test these patterns out before publishing?  I do plan to write them and let them know.  I read through the pattern twice to make sure I hadn't missed anything or miscalculated.....Oh well, it's going to be really cute and I have enough fabric to finish the quilt so no great harm.  Stay tuned to see the completed quilt.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

A bazillion things

So, I took so long between posts that I am about to burst with things to write about.  I am amazed at how therapeutic blogging is.  It's been several days since I posted and I am feeling all pent up with things to say!  I also have been really busy working on projects....the first one I want to tell you about is a quilt I just finished for a very dear friend.  She moved away recently and I miss her dearly!  This is the kind of friend who know all your deepest, darkest secrets (and loves you anyway).  So, to tell her how very much I love her...I did the only thing I know how to do - I made her a quilt.  It's not a total surprise, I wanted her to love it so I asked for her input on fabric selection.  I think she has been anxiously waiting for a posting about her quilt, so.....S, this is for you!
This is the front of the quilt and this is the back; I can't decide which is my favorite.  Sometimes I like the back better than the front!
As I was working on this quilt, I had the front of the quilt on the design wall and started to play around with the layout of the backing.  This is what I noticed as I stepped back to see how the layout looked.   I think I have a new quilt design in the making...
Today, I decided to start on another project I have had in my mind for awhile.  I wanted a little more pizzaz in the dining room, so the chair started out like this:
Well, it was actually an intact chair but I forgot to take a picture before I tore it all apart.  And now, it looks like this:

There were over 150 staples in the chair holding the old fabric on and by the time I pulled all of those out and stapled the new fabric back on, my fingers were very sore!  So, I'm thinking about one chair every few days.....we should be done in a month.  Okay, there are only four chairs so maybe in a couple of weeks I'll have the rest done.

I taught a beginning quilt class at Bernina of Dallas on Saturday and I have another class tomorrow night.  I will be teaching School House Tunic from Sew Liberated.  I have made this tunic twice now and I just love it.  It's really easy to make and looks so cute.  The possibilities are just endless for personalization.  It looks great with leggings or over jeans.  But above all, I just really love teaching.  It doesn't matter what I'm teaching, it's the act of sharing knowledge and watching the excitement as the project comes together, that I love.  I'm so happy to have found such a great shop that lets me do something I love so much.  The gals at the Bernina store are so helpful and have a wealth of knowledge between them.  And we all know how much I love my new machine!  I am truly grateful to own such an amazing tool.  I have been thinking lately that she really needs a name.....I'm thinking maybe we need to have a name Michelle's Bernina contest.  With a prize for the winner?  Hmm.....I'll come up with the specifics and post the rules in the next couple of days and we'll see if she can't end up with a name finally.