Wednesday, June 30, 2010

For Your Enjoyment

Those of you who quilt for others will especially get a kick out of this...

Back to Reality

I just returned from a trip here...

...and here...

...with a few stops and activities inbetween.

I am so behind in reading my favorite blogs and in responding to comments. Please know that I read all your comments...I just don't always have time to answer individually.

I also haven't sewn a stitch or even just fondled fabric in weeks...the past few posts about my "Out of the Box" challenge were scheduled before my family and I skipped town. Hopefully, today I'll have a chance to get some sewing done in the company of friends!

P.S. The first shot is in Cedar Key (Gulf Coast) and the second one is in Cocoa Beach (Atlantic Coast), both in Florida.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Gone To Pieces

I have now cut my "Out of the Box" challenge piece to the shape that I want it to be and these are the leftover pieces.

Now, you're probably saying to yourself..."What the heck is this woman making?"...

Good question...I'm beginning to wonder that myself...I'm not sure if this will work...

Friday, June 25, 2010

Boxed In

Here's a peek at what my "Out of the Box" challenge is looking like. It's just a narrow shot because I don't want to give any hints about what the final shape will be. And if it doesn't work like I planned, you may not see a finished product at all...

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Out of My Mind

Now that my idea for this year's challenge is out of my mind and starting to take shape, here's what it looks like so far. Awful photo -- it was taken in my basement.

Will it work? I have no clue...stay tuned....

Monday, June 21, 2010

Opening Pandora's Box

My guild's exhibit is quickly approaching, so I need to get moving on my challenge project. This year's theme is "Out of the Box", which means we are to make a quilt that is not square or rectangular and no larger than 36 inches at its widest point. It must be a wallhanging, not an article of clothing or bag or pillow, etc.

The parts for my "Out of the Box" challenge have been released from their box...stay tuned...

Friday, June 18, 2010

Slow, But Steady

These are the first 5 blocks of my son's graduation/going off to college quilt that I first blogged about here. The final block layout will wait until all the blocks are finished, but this gives you an idea of what it will look like.

Progress has been a bit slow, but my plan is to have it finished in time for Nick to take it to Cornell on August 20th (Yikes! That's only 9 weeks away!).

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Now This Is What I Call Natural Light

On some of the beautiful summer days, I'm fortunate to be able to sew here...

I hope this summer will bring me more days like this (unlike the horrible summer we had last year!).

The deck is even prettier since I took the photo...the pots on the railing now have pretty flowers growing in them instead of weeds!

Monday, June 14, 2010

NQR -- Indulge Me!

Please indulge this proud mama today!

Some of you may have seen these photos on my Facebook page over the weekend.

From first day of kindergarten to high school graduation -- where did the years go?

Nick’s Graduation -- June 2010

Friday, June 11, 2010

Feel the Fear...And Do It Anyway*

This quilt has been on my HQ16 for the last couple of weeks and I haven't done a single stitch of quilting on it yet. It's made by a friend who has had me quilt a good number of her quilts in the past. She's the one who always lets me just play on her tops without restriction and I'm usually happy to do it, even if I am a bit afraid to try a new design.

This one has had me paralyzed for a while. The solid red sections have a chenille design, and at first, that was what worried me. But I soon realized that I could easily quilt around the chenille. The problem I have is deciding what color thread to use. I have a very nice red that would work quite well on both the red section and the pieced section, but the red thread will look awful on the cream colored backing (you can't see that in this photo). The backing really needs a cream-colored thread, but I'm afraid of having little dots of cream thread show through on the red fabric and little dots of red show through on the backing. And cream thread will look awful on the red if I used it on the top. In order to use red thread on top and cream thread on the bottom, the thread tension will have to be perfect. Hence my fear!

But this is silly -- I need to get over the fear, so I've decided to write the quotation from this post's heading on the white board above my machine and plan to tackle the quilting this weekend. If it works, you'll see a photo of the result on my blog sometime next week...
*The quotation is the title of a 1987 book by Susan Jeffers.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Let the Games Begin

First of all, thank you to all who suggested ideas for what to do with my son's graduation've started me thinking....I may come up with something. In the meantime...

Due to all the activity and excitement surrounding graduation, there hasn't been a whole lot of sewing or quilting going on around here, so I thought I'd post a photo of a quilt that I made back in late 2006 for my husband's grandchildren. (Bad photo...the colors are much richer in person, especially the blue background). I gave it to them with a bag full of game pieces.

It's a Game Quilt, made using Quiltsmart interfacing. You can find a direct link to the pattern here.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Ideas Wanted

What the heck do I do with this now?

My son wore this for his graduation Friday night...We have no use for it again and we don't see any need to keep it as a memento (he will keep his cap and tassel, however). It seems a waste to have paid money for it to be used just once (I remember renting my cap and gown both in high school and college). Since I know there are students in our school district from families who are struggling financially, I asked in the school office if they take any donated gowns that could be used for those students in future years. They said that they would take it if we wanted to donate it, but didn't sound encouraging that it would be used. There is no guarantee that the color of the green will be the same shade every year (dye-lot issues), so they don't want to risk the donated gowns looking out of place. It sounded to me that if I donated it back to them, it would just hang in a closet somewhere...or worse yet, just get piled in with lost and found items or something...Seems like a waste to me (at least they do re-use the white National Honor Society sash).

So, in the spirit of the original purpose of quiltmaking, I need to figure out how to re-purpose this...

Any of you creative quilters have any ideas...?

Friday, June 4, 2010

It's Going To Be An Interesting Day...

My son Nick graduates from high school this evening.... ...he just found out mid-afternoon yesterday that he's salutatorian and needs to make a speech!

He came home from graduation practice with the news and although he is quite happy about it, he said that he's the only senior who still had homework to do!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Ironing Things Out

I'm not quite ready to get one of these yet...

Last week I told you of the end of my steamy love affair with my six-month-old iron and said that I'd keep you updated with how Customer Service dealt with my problem...So here's the latest...

I contacted the customer service department at Black and Decker online and told them that my six-month-old iron had completely stopped working (it was totally kaput!) and that I felt that they should replace it. They answered me the next day and asked for some info on the model number, where I bought it, etc and shortly after I emailed that info to them, they answered and said that I was eligible for a replacement iron. All I had to do was to send a copy of the receipt, cut off the end of the plug and send it (not the whole iron) back to them...AND they wanted me to send a check for $7.50 to pay for shipping the replacement iron to me. I immediately responded and said that I was happy to hear that I could get a replacement and was more than willing to send them the plug...however, I was not willing to pay for the shipping since it was not my fault that the iron needed to be replaced. If they didn't waive the shipping fee, I was going to take the $7.50 and put it toward the purchase of a new (non-Black and Decker) iron and that I was going to advise my friends not to buy a B&D iron either.

I was willing to wait until the end of the long holiday weekend for a reply, (although I'd put money on the fact that the place where customer service is located is not in a country that celebrates our Memorial Day...) and yesterday afternoon there was a message in my inbox saying that they would waive the $7.50 shipping fee. Yeah!

So, for now, I'll give Black and Decker a good grade for their service...but no promises about whether or not I'll give their product a good grade. That will have to wait until I use the replacement iron for a while. I'm hoping that the first one was just from a bad batch.

By the way, while I was waiting for this to be settled, I checked the reviews on Amazon for the iron and noticed that there were FOUR reviews about the same problem I had with the iron...all written AFTER I had bought mine late last year. When I had done my initial research, most of the reviews were positive.

I'll keep you posted....