Monday, September 29, 2008

My Retreat

I had a fun retreat weekend again. I just love retreats!

I get to sew with a great group of ladies for two and a half days, be inspired by all the great projects being worked on all around me, and eat yummy food that none of us had to cook!

Does it get any better?

Here is where I sat and laughed til I cried...and got a little sewing done in the process.

It was a jelly roll party for me this weekend. I started with a Bali Pop (which technically isn't a jelly roll, but close enough) called Sherbet. I bought it after I saw this tutorial and couldn't wait to make one for myself. I love the colors and it was really fun to make.

The second jelly roll I worked with was Roman Holiday by Moda. It turned out so pretty. I think I am going to back it in flannel so it will be extra comfy to cuddle under this winter.

And I just had to share a picture of this beautiful sunset that could be seen right outside our windows.

Now for the fun part! I get to show you all the great things my friends finished! At our retreat when you finish something you get to show it off with a big, "Ta-Da!". So without further ado, here are some ta-da's.

Nan made some wonderful quilts this past weekend. This one she used a layer cake...

This pink and brown baby quilt was made in the Yellow Brick Road pattern...

Here is a block of the month she worked on. Isn't it pretty? I am a member of the same block of the month club in a different fabric line. It was fun to see a sneak preview of what my quilt will look like if I ever get around to starting it.

This is my friend, Lou. She invited me to join the guild a year or two ago. She cracks me up. Doesn't she look stunning as she models what happens when you accidentally sew your strip of scraps into a tube.

This is what her strips are supposed to look like...

And they eventually ended up as one of the borders in this great scrap quilt...

This pretty quilt is a cheater panel that she just couldn't pass up. It is really beautiful.

And here is another quilt she finished made up of florals.

This is Darlene's quilt that she bought the pattern and all the fabric on her cruise to Alaska. Each square is fussy cut and represents Alaska. She started and finished the whole thing. It was amazing!

Cindy was a very unselfish quilter. She worked on Christmas gifts all weekend. This is a pretty table runner she made for her mom.

And here is a cute little wall quilt of little jars.

Janeane and her daughter, Elizabeth, were very prolific.

Shirley D. made this cute baby quilt.

Pam and Katie are good friends that worked on the same pattern together. It was fun to see the same quilt made in different fabrics. They were nice to show their work in progress before the retreat ended.
Barb made this incredible quilt. Isn't it wonderful? It is a pattern called Bob and Weave by Coleen Wise. She spoke to our guild a week ago and taught a workshop to those who signed up for it.

And this is only one of the cute bags she made.

Shirley L. made this beautiful quilt for the guild to be donated.

This great quilt is Amber's. I really like the colors.

Noel let me take a picture of her funny shirt.

It says: "Block-Of-The-Month" Line-Up. And there are four ladies: the Over Achiever, the Confused, the Procrastinator, and the Perfectionist.

So which one are you?

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Baby Shower Quilt Done!

I finished the Plain Spoken quilt just in time. The baby shower is today around lunch time. I finished the last stitch of hand sewing the binding late last night. I am always amazed at how many hours a hand sewn binding takes. Sure is worth it though!

I decided to just make a little tag instead of a label because I want the quilt to be reversible and quilts don't look very reversible with a big label on the back.

Quilting this quilt was a big reminder that I need more practice. I started free motion quilting twice and seam ripped both attempts. Luckily I didn't get far on either of those times before I thought my work looked horrible. The third attempt was better and I gave up on having perfect curves and loops. I think it looks a lot better as a whole instead of nit picking the small sections.

I am very happy with how it turned out in the end. I want to make another in a bigger size for me. But with as many projects as I have, that isn't likely to happen any time soon.

Here is a full shot of the front...
And the back...
I am driving into downtown Seattle today to attend the baby shower at my husband's work. I am glad I get to be there when she opens it. I hope she likes it!

This weekend I am off to a quilt retreat! I hope to get lots done and have lots of pictures to share of my projects as well as all my friends' projects sometime beginning of next week! See you then!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

I am in love...

...with my current project!!

My husband has a coworker that is going to have a baby and her baby shower is next Thursday. I really like her. I was really excited when I found out she was pregnant. It is fun becoming a mom for the first time. Shopping for baby, setting up the nursery, and the best part...holding your baby for the first time. Ah, I am getting all nostalgic... So, anyways, I wanted to make her a quilt, so I went shopping and this is what I came home with...

I am going to use the big floral for the back and the fabric with the circles all over it for the binding. Can you guess what I am going to do with these beautiful solids?

Yep! I am joining my fellow bloggers and making the Plain Spoken quilt from the Modern Quilt Workshop.

I have seen this quilt on many blogs and I am always struck by how beautiful they are. I just love how the solid fabrics are showcased. It is such an easy pattern that seems like there is way more going on than there is. I am really enjoying the process with this quilt. I am queen of the quick piecing methods, but not with this quilt. I love arranging the colors and seeing the clean lines come together. The only thing I haven't figured out is how I am going to quilt it. Any ideas?

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

My Birthday Goodies

I know it has been a few weeks since my birthday but I had said that I was going to share with you what I got. Some of it was presents from family and some of it was just me shopping for myself on my trip to San Diego. I have already shown you a couple things and here are a few more.

At the quilt show Tina bought me this cute bundle of fabric. I love it! The colors are so great! So I went back and bought myself more to use for borders and a binding.

My mom not only got me the yarn but later bought me this great book and templates to make some circle quilts. I have done curved piecing but never a whole quilt filled with the technique. I am excited to make it!

When I got home from my trip my husband and kids were excited to celebrate my birthday with me. My kids gave me a gift card to Jamba Juice (yum!) and a gift card to my local fabric store. They made the cutest cards to hold the gift cards. My husband bought me this book that I have been wanting for two reasons: 1. I love anything from Jennifer Chiaverini 2. My name is mentioned in it for submitting a block to one of the quilts!! It was fun to see my name in print!

The rest of the gifts were from me to me. I bought this black and white bundle at the quilt show. I am collecting black and white prints to make a quilt someday. And of course it will have just a touch of red because I love that.

Tina is so lucky to have Rosie's Calico Cupboard so close to her home. I had to take advantage of shopping there since who knows when I will be back! I bought this cute charm pack and some coordinating fabrics called Pumpkins Gone Wild to make a table runner.

I stocked up on a few red and white fabrics for a red and white block swap I am participating in on Ravelry. Yep Ravelry has a quilting group made up of members who knit and quilt.

A couple years ago Tina and I took a trip to Sisters, Oregon for their annual quilt show. I bought this pattern to make a wall quilt to always remember our trip. I am finally getting around to it and thought buying the fabric for it at my sister's local quilt shop was very appropriate.

The shop also had a nice selection of Heather Bailey fabrics and I couldn't pass up the chance to buy some of the fabric I have only seen pictures of on blogs. It is so pretty, I can't wait to make a quilt with it!

So there you have it. I am so excited about all my new lovelies. I am going to be super busy with all these projects waiting in the wings and the swaps I can't seem to keep myself from joining. I can't believe that only 5 months ago I started blogging and a whole new world opened up to me.

Friday, September 12, 2008

X-Blocks Tutorial

If you loved the giveaway quilt but didn't win, here's how you can make one for yourself!

I used the X-Blocks Bellybutton. It is a super fun, fast tool. It is used to work with nine-patches but you can also use it the way I did.

And this cutting mat isn't required but makes trimming a lot simpler. Do you already have one of these? I did but wasn't fond of it because it seemed like it was so hard to spin it. Then a friend told me to take the black square off the back and flip in around and put it back on. Well, I tried it and it spins a lot smoother. Just a tip!

So you start out by sewing three strips of fabric together. Make sure the light colored strip is in the middle. X-Blocks come in different sizes and each one has instructions to the width to cut your strips depending on what size you have. You place your X-Blocks on the "rail fence" like this.

Then you trim around the edges.

The block you just made will make half of the blocks in the quilt.

To make the mirror image block you just need to flip your X-Blocks over. Notice the writing on the X-Blocks is backwards. (the fabric in the pictures is about to change, don't let that confuse you)

Lay them all out so they make this pattern.

After that you know the drill. Sew them in rows and sew the rows together. I took a picture of the final layout before I started to sew them together. That way if I got mixed up as to which block went where on the way back and forth from my machine, I could just double check on my camera.

When I bought the Bellybutton sized X-Blocks I also bought the bigger one. The Bellybutton is designed to fit in the center of the "nine-patch" of the bigger one. Someday I will play around with that too!

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