Monday, October 31, 2011

A Halloween Costume Mosaic

I love mosaics and because I have nothing crafty I am working on related to Halloween right now I thought I would show you a Halloween costume mosaic of some of my past work:

1. 2000: Dinosaur, 2. 2003: Penguin, 3. 2004: Grimm Reaper & Knight, 4. 2005: Obi Wan Kenobi , 5. 2005:Obi Wan Kenobi & Darth Vader, 6. 2006: Han Solo , 7. 2007: Knight & Stick Man, 8. 2008: Grimm Reaper , 9. Homegrown Pumpkin

I had a wonderful time making all of these costumes for my boys - many have now been handed down to my young nephews which makes me very happy.  Many were borrowed for parties, plays etc., which was also super fun for me.  This year I had no requests for a costume although I was asked yesterday at about 4pm to make an "executioner's" mask.  What is it with boys?  With no black fabric in the house I had my son look through his clothes to see if he had a black t-shirt that was too small - about 30 minutes later he was a happy boy with his recycled "executioner's" mask.

Check out the video of the Stick Man costume that was in photo #7.  That was a great costume that took a lot of work but was so worth the outcome.

Happy Halloween!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

WIP Wednesday: When Bad Rotary Cutting Happens to Good People

The last ten days:  work + school + life = no crafting therefore no blogging.  

Today:  lots of free time = crafting and blogging.  Yea!  So I sewed up two new pouches - one for me and one for a friend who is going on a little vacation.  

For a friend
Could not resist Going Coastal fabric in a local fabric store (M&L) yesterday. Wanted to make myself up a new pouch and walked around and around looking for the perfect fabric.  Could not believe it when I spied this as I have almost bought it online many times.  Lining is Hullabaloo by Urban Chicks from the Dots Swap hosted by Debbie from A Quilter's Table earlier this year.   Love it Debbie!  

For me

Works in Progress: 
T-Shirt Quilt - earlier this week I was ready to start stitching up the t-shirt quilt.  The t-shirt blocks were squared up and ready to go and I decided to go through the solid Kona Light Grey fabric just to make sure those were squared up as well.  Well....they were NOT.  I had cut the Kona squares while I was sitting on the floor - big mistake.  (If you are a Stash Resolution Podcast listener - my title is respectfully taken from one of her segments in her show.)  All of the Kona squares are at least 1/2 inch off.  What the heck was I doing that night while cutting?  Must have been a rare night that I was actually watching what was on TV.   That project is back on hold until I have time to go buy more fabric.

Quilt for my best bud - Minimal cutting and no sewing.  Her birthday is coming soon so this needs to be first on my list for next week.

Latte Quilt update:  My quilt top has now been quilted by Nena of Nena's Quilt Shack and is now in Houston, TX!  I pulled this photo off the FB account Nena.  You can see the binding she sewed on the front.
Latte Quilt
I'm so anxious to see photos of the Latte Quilt up in the Hoffman Fabric's booth at Quilt Market.  

Please visit Lee at Freshly Pieced to see what others are working on this week.

Have a super fun Wednesday evening - wherever you are.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

When Opportunities Bring Fulfillment

Earlier in October I posted a finished photo of Supernova to my Facebook account just for fun.  I received  great comments and congratulations on the finish from my friends and family but then was completely surprised by a comment from an old friend who works for Hoffman Fabrics. She asked if I would be interested in working on projects for Hoffman and if so would I come down to their headquarters to meet with them.

It could have stopped right there and I would have been fulfilled.  Seriously.  I felt so validated that my friend had thought enough of a photo on Facebook to ask me to work on projects for them.   Of course I said yes.

Last week I visited their headquarters in Mission Viejo, CA and had a tour of their warehouse full of fabrics - oh my goodness what a treasure trove of fabric.  I had no idea how gorgeous batik fabrics really were as I had not had any previous introduction to them.  As we walked by bolts and bolts of fabrics I kept thinking to myself how various fabrics could be made into skirts, bags and of course, quilts.  I was in heaven.

After viewing different "color stories" of fabrics, we chose a mixture of batiks and screen prints for me to make them a quilt  *drumroll please* for them to take to Quilt Market.  They are going to take my quilt and use it in their display for Quilt Market at the end of this month.  Well...first they have to like what I made:
Latte Quilt for Hoffman Fabrics
So what do you think?  I did not use a formal pattern but just took elements from what I see on blogs all the time to come up with a way to focus on the Hoffman screen prints with the batiks providing a highlight and frame.

While finishing up the Latte Quilt this morning I made Nutella Scones.
Nutella Scones
Nutella Scones
2 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
1/2 cup whipping cream
1/4 cup milk
1 large egg
Jar of Nutella

Preheat oven to 400F.  Sift dry ingredients into medium sized bowl.  Add in chilled butter and mix in with a pastry blender until a coarse meal forms.  In a small bowl mix together the cream, milk and egg.  Add wet mixture to dry mixture until moist clumps are formed.  You may need to add a bit more milk if the dough is too dry.  Use large spoons to place about 1/4 cup of dough on parchment paper lined cookie sheet, spacing them apart.  Use those spoons to make an indentation inside the dough ball.  Use two different spoons to add about a teaspoon (or more if you like!) of Nutella into each of the scones.  Then go back to the dough and add enough to the top to envelope the Nutella.  Bake scones until golden brown about 15 minutes.  They freeze very well : Place them on a cookie sheet UNWRAPPED in the freezer.  About an hour later come back and wrap each of the frozen scones up airtight.  Leave out on the counter for 30 minutes to thaw.  

Linking up to Tuesday at the Table with Debbie from A Quilter's Table - go see what others are making today.  I made Debbie's Butternut Squash Soup that she highlighted in her Tuesday at the Table post last week - so good!   Also linking up to Quiltstory - go see what others are have created - lots of Halloween inspired goodies this week.  

I'm off to school ~ have a wonderful Tuesday,

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Giveaway Winner & Mother's/Grandmother's

Thirty six wonderful comments...36.  All through the week I have enjoyed reading the comments as they have rolled in with descriptions of how you all discovered quilting.  Although the inspiration seems to come from many different sources, the common denominator was mother's and grandmother's and because I'm a total sucker for mother/grandmother connections I had to go with Allegory's comment:

For me, it was all my mother's fault. She would quilt while I was sewing clothes when I was in my teens. Fast forward 7 years and I'm bored sewing clothes so I call mom and ask her what it was she used to work on next to me.
I got a rotary cutter and some handwritten starter notes in the mail that week. ;)

Congratulations to Allegory for winning the $50.00 Fat Quarter Shop Gift Certificate.  Please visit Allegory at her blog {sew}Allegorical to see her quilting/crafting projects and to read about her hunt for Count Chocula cereal.  Too funny.

To continue on with the mother/grandmother theme, sometimes I have tea in the morning with my grandmother:
My grandmother's china cup with a Mr. Hunky Fireman mug rug that my mother would have LOVED.  
Two more tidbits before I attack my crazy busy day: 

Fabric picked out for the Christmas Tree Pants sew along hosted by Sew Mama Sew/Happy Zombie
Holiday Happy fabric by Happy Zombie

Everything else is on the back burner while I work on this project:
Hoffman Fabrics batiks & screenprints
Happy Saturday!

Monday, October 10, 2011

T-Shirt Quilt Chronicle Part III: Math Challenges

I'm back on track with the T-Shirt Quilt.

I stalled out on the T-Shirt Quilt because of math...addition and multiplication to be exact.  When figuring out how much interfacing I needed to back the t-shirt blocks, I calculated three yards.  Confident me then purchased three yards at Joann's and began cutting - did not take long for me to realized that I did not have enough.  (Six was the required amount.)

I was vexed.   (Vexed is a favorite word of mine which I hardly ever use out loud - who remembers Joaquin Phoenix as Commodus in Gladiator (2000) say "It vexes me.  I am terribly vexed"?)

I finally purchased the remainder three yards this past week and got the wheels going again on this project.  All t-shirt blocks are now backed with interfacing and I purchased the correct amount of Kona Light Grey to fill in the checkerboard pattern I'm going for.
T-Shirt Quilt - not sewed up yet
Now awaiting my cousin to choose a backing fabric.  Because her son attended East Carolina University I suggested this:

Enjoy your Monday...

Sunday, October 9, 2011

HQ Podcast Episode 15 Learning History Through Quilts

*My Giveaway is still open go here to enter.*  

Happy Sunday Everybody!

History Quilter Podcast Episode 15 is now up on Podbean and iTunes.  In this episode I talked about two ways in which quilts can be used to teach history.  In a classroom setting, teaching children about quilts can inform them about the chronological age of a quilt, the geographical area where the quilt was made and the social/family history of the quilt in regards to whom it was made for and why it was made, etc.  Quilts can also be used as a biographical account of a portion of a person's life as in the example I spoke about.

The 35 Year Quilt made by Joan Erger
I took the photo above at the Flying Geese Quilter's Guild Quilt Show on Saturday October 1st, 2011 held in Aliso Viejo, CA.  Ms. Erger in the description card explains "The quilt, for my daughter, was designed before I began constructing it.  My family and I decided upon 20 milestones in her life, birth to high school graduation, we felt should be included in the completed quilt."  As I said in the podcast, we quilters have the ability to create biographical legacies to share with the world, just as writers can with biographies and filmmakers can with movies.  This quilt was without a doubt my favorite at the quilt show as the combination of Ms. Erger's artistry/mastery and the story that the quilt told made it stand out above all the rest.

I asked a few questions in the podcast:  
I subscribe to American Patchwork and Quilting - are there other quilting magazines which should be showing up in my mailbox?
Are there family recipes that you make that you thought were original to your family but then come to learn that many others have the same recipe?

Here is one of my vegetable gardens.  It is approximately 17" by 4" right now - the plan is for another row by next spring.
Still waiting to meet Ahmed from Yard Crashers...

Early Girls waiting to ripen
Off to the kitchen to start on those croissants I talked about...

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Friendship Through Quilting and a Giveaway!

Over the past 2 1/2 years the online quilting community has opened up a whole new world to me.  Fabric, texture, color, design and movement.... Flickr, pinterest, swaps, linkys, comments....I could go on.  But the most important thing that it has opened up for me is friendship.  Friendship through a shared craft/hobby/art although online should not be overlooked or undervalued - the access we now have to others across the globe to enhance/learn more about our love of quilting is real.

For example there is Debbie from A Quilter's Table - a perfect example of an online quilt blogging friend who has slowly crept into my daily consciousness with her witty prose and her amazing creations.  Although we may never meet (I sure hope we do!) in person, I so enjoy the almost instant feed back if I have a question or a photo to share with her.

Then there is Zina who I met through the Goodie Swap 2011 - she made me these for the swap:
Just love that bag...I used it last night!  
Well last Saturday Zina and I went to a local quilt show together and had a great time.  Who knew there was another quilter approximately 1.4 miles away from me who is normal?  I laugh at typing this as when I called her to set up what time I would pick her up I told her that I was "normal" and that she shouldn't worry...what a laugh we had in the car about that later.  Thrilled to have a quilting friend so close!  I see trips to M&L in our future, Zina.

My last example brings me to my best bud in my daily life. She is going through a divorce right now and one of the things she told me she wanted was a quilt for her bed as her soon to be ex never liked quilts.  So now her mother and I are working on making her a quilt for her bed.  Love the idea of making my best bud's life a little better with a quilt.

On to the WIP's - what I am no longer working on:
Supernova - finished
Supernova is done and folded up on my couch right now.  Will probably wrap myself in it tonight after I return from Back to School night at the high school.  The rain and (relative) cold we are experiencing right now make it a perfect night to wrap in a quilt.

What's next?
The T-Shirt Quilt  - shirts sent to me by my cousin in Maryland.  Shirts cut out and 1/2 are now backed by interfacing.
Quilt top for my Best Bud - I'm only doing 1/2 of the blocks for this quilt top and then will hand them off to her mother to finish.

Lastly, the Giveaway:
I've just hit 50 followers (actually 51 now!) so to celebrate I'm giving away a $50.00 gift certificate to the  Fat Quarter Shop for starting me down this wonderful quilting path that my life is now on.  Their ad Martha Stewart Magazine  2 1/2 years ago began my now love of quilting so they deserve all the credit/blame.  :)

To enter in the giveaway please leave a comment telling me what got you started down your crafty/quilting path.  Was it a family member, a friend, a magazine, a blog?  You know how I got started so tell me how you did.  Make sure I can get in touch with you.   *The Giveaway is now closed as of Thursday, October 13th at midnight.*

I'm linking up with Lee from Freshly Pieced so please go on over a check out what other's have on their WIP lists for today.

Enjoy the rest of your Wednesday,

Monday, October 3, 2011

A Quilt Finish: Supernova

Supernova - front and back
Supernova Quilt Along by Lee of Freshly Pieced
Started:  March 15, 2011
Finished:  October 2, 2011
Size:  64" Square
Fabrics:  Anna Maria Horner Garden Party & Good Folks fabrics on front and back, Kona Celery solid on front, Kona Deep Rose for binding.
Quilting:  Straight line based on Felicity's Oceanic Supernova Full Frontal.
Who is it for?  Me :)

Had to make this quilt based on the pattern and the name and decided to keep the because it fits perfectly.  Knew right away that I wanted to make this quilt with my AMH stash.  If you check out the bottom center block you can tell that I was running out of reds!  My younger son helped me choose the binding color - I had the front and back laid out on the living room floor with my Kona card and he came along and helped me pick out a color that would work - I wanted a binding that would frame the quilt, not disappear.  Brought a block to school last semester to show fellow students and will always remember the remark of how "psychedelic" it looked.

Linking up to Sew Modern Monday, Fabric Tuesday and Manic Monday Linky Party.

Thrilled to have completed this quilt!
Enjoy the rest of your Monday,