Monday, September 19, 2011

Design Wall Monday

Design wall, umm floor!  Since I don't have a specific sewing room yet I have taken over the kitchen table and a design wall is nowhere in sight.   The floor will have to do for now.  I recently blogged about Erin Russek and her great blog here.  I finally started on my version of "My Tweets."  Here is what I have so far.
Block 8
Block 7

Please, don't mind the dog ears that are sticking out.  I don't take care of those until I start sewing.  I am just trying to get all the blocks put together and when I have to go in the car or a dance practice they just go along with me.   

Last night I cut out blocks 6 & 9, decided what colors all the shapes should be, tucked them into the correct color and went to bed.  When I came home at lunch it looked sort of like this. 

Actually it looked much worse!  My cute little three year old (who loves to play with fabric) had spread all the fabric pieces on the couch and along the way scattered the pieces I so carefully put together. How can you blame her though?  Especially when she gives you a sweet little smile like this.  

I guess it is a good thing she is so cute!  Oh well, maybe tonight I will come up with a color combination I like even better.  
Have a good night!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Friday Night Football

We live in a small town and love it.  One thing that is so much fun is attending local high school sports.  We don't do it as much as we can/should but we went to the football game last weekend because our two big girls were dancing at half time.

They practiced with the drill team (high school dance team) all week for Friday's game.  They were so excited, we even got a smile out of them by the bulldog.  They look great don't they?

Well, the excitement was short lived because soon after the first picture they started complaining about how I tied their t-shirts.   

This is how they looked while we were waiting for half time.  They thought I was mean because I wouldn't let them untie them until after their dance.  No smiles from them at all!  Once they got out there they were great.  There were over 80 dancers out there and they put on a great show!  They were so much fun to watch.  (Sorry no pictures it was too dark.)

As I sang the school song with the community I was really grateful to be a part of our little town.  I grew up here and while I wasn't the most popular person I am appreciative of the memories and values I have from my childhood.  I have felt included and I hope that will continue for my children.  I know there are many great places to live but I love it here! If life ever takes me away from this little town I know I will miss it.  Thanks to everyone who makes this community great, lets keep it that way.  

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

My Favorite Things 2

It is time for My Favorite Things again!  This time I wanted to share my favorite scissors.  I have had them for a while and I can't remember what brand they are or even where I bought them.  I'm sure if you look around you will find some.  They are little snippy scissors.

  I love that I don't have to fit my fingers into any holes and they have curved blades so I can get really close to the fabric.  This is extremely helpful when I am appliqueing and paper piecing.  The chance of cutting fabric is very low.  

I don't use them for everything but they are definitely one of my favorite tools.  If you are looking for a new tool or a gift this is a great idea!!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Meet Erin!

I would like you to meet Erin Russek, from One Piece at a Time!  Maybe you have heard of her.  She is an amazing quilter and quilt designer.  Seriously, she has the most gorgeous applique designs!  You can find her site here.
Erin blogs about her applique designs, great tips for quilters and she has awesome giveaways!  
example of her own quilting! absolutely stunning
My Tweets Collection

Isn't this amazing!  She has so much stuff you really need to check it out.  You can tell how much she loves quilting and making others better quilters too!!

It is one of her quilts that I have been itching to start.  It is called My Tweets and you can find all the blocks here.  Erin is doing this quilt as a block of the month.  Each month she posts a new block on her site, free for us to download.  There is a center medallion that she sells in her etsy shop if you want to make the quilt just like her. 
 This is what it looks like so far.    

I have been following her for a few months and gathering fabric just waiting until I can start.  Here is what I have collected so far

I wanted to do something bright.  Some of the fabrics don't look as bright in the picture but I think I have a nice variety to start with.  The fat quarters came in my goody box from McCalls and most of the other came from Connecting Threads.  

I wanted a really big contrast so I chose black for the background.  I hope it won't be too much, I couldn't decide on a black with a pattern or just straight black.  I ended up going with straight black.  I can always change after I make one block.  The blue swirly is for the sashing, at least that is the plan.  
Please check out Erin's site, she is amazing.  From her site you can see what other quilters are doing with her designs, and hopefully I can get started on this soon!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

My Favorite Things 1

Today I wanted to share with you one of my favorite quilting items.  When I received my goody bag from McCalls I was given two gift certificates.  I used my certificate to Stitchin' Heaven to buy this.

It is an applique thread kit, you can find it here.  As you know I love to applique.  I usually use silk thread but I only have a few colors so I usually applique everything in pink.  I know, I should match my thread.  That is why I bought this.

The thread is housed in a bobbin saver and the thread is by Superior Threads.  I have used Superior Threads to machine piece but I have to tell you that I love this product.  It fits in my applique box and I have every color I need.  Plus it just looks so cool!  I have enjoyed picking out just the right color and as a bonus my little A has learned many more colors because she loves to look at it too.  There you go, it is great for applique and as a learning tool.  The kit also came with some needles and Thread Heaven.  If you have never used Thread Heaven you need to give it a try.  Just run your thread through the waxy stuff and it will glide through fabric, knots are not as much of a problem.  It is amazing.  
This is such a great idea I don't know what I will do when I run out, probably just get another one.  
Thanks Stitchin' Heaven for the gift certificate!  

Monday, September 5, 2011

Progress on Pieceful Garden

Remember at the end of July when I showed you this.

Well I am still plugging away at it.  I started with the flowers.  They are finished except for the embroidered vines.  They look pretty much the same as before except now they are appliqued down.  I am really happy with how they turned out.  

After the flowers were done I started on the leaves.  This is where I started having a few headaches.  The leaves are paper pieced, which was not hard.

 I pieced each side separately, cut them down and then joined them together with a skinny stem.  Then the headaches started.  The instructions said to piece each leaf into the block with curved seams.  I hate curved seams!  I guess I just haven't pieced them enough to feel comfortable with it yet.  So I decided to bag the curved seams and just applique them on top.  Oh, that was easier said than done.  I usually starch the seam allowance down, glue it on and then sew.  Well I was afraid the bulkiness of paper piecing wouldn't iron down.  So I drew the  seam allowance line on top and then used the needle turn applique method.  It worked, but it took forever.  It was hard to get a nice curve where there was a lot of fabric to turn under.  Finally it came together to look like this.  

The flowers were added after the leaves and I still may change the centers to a dark green color.  Not sure yet.  I was really hoping to have it completed this weekend and I might since I don't have to go to work today.  
I laid a few pieces out to see what they would look like together.  

I think I will really like it.  I'm worried the background fabrics contrast a little too much.  Hopefully it will look alright when it is finished.  I'm glad it will be done soon.  I have so many other quilts I want to start on, but I told myself I wasn't going to start any new ones until I had one finished.  

Saturday, September 3, 2011

First Day of School

We have been in school for a few weeks (reason for my absence) and things are going great!  Getting back to work reminds me how much I love my job.  The kids are so much fun and I could start another blog just with all the funny things they say!  That will have to come later, my plate is full!

My girls had their outfits picked out for days before school started and we had many discussions about how their hair would look.  And then the picture turned out blurry.

K & L on their first day at school 
They had a great first day and looked really cute.  They love their teachers and lunch (thanks lunch ladies!)  Good luck to everyone else that is starting school, I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.